Village Ash Tree Removal
The Village of Prairie du Sac continues removing ash trees due to their poor condition and the impending threat of an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation. The trees in Prairie du Sac consist of both green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) and white ash (Fraxinus Americana). The trees are located on Village of Prairie du Sac property such as street right-of-ways and parks. The Village’s project does not involve trees located on private property. EAB has been detected in Sauk County and it is only a matter of time until it reaches the Village of Prairie du Sac. Both green and white ash is susceptible to becoming infested with EAB. Once EAB infests a tree it kills the tree by cutting the plumbing of the tree and nutrients can’t make their way to the top of the tree. Removing ash trees before EAB is detected is an important first step in controlling the spread of EAB. By removing the ash trees we are removing the habitat that the beetle needs to survive.
All of the trees slated for removal were inventoried by Southwest Badger Resource Conservation and Development Council. Each tree was ranked based on characteristics such as crown density, stem condition, root system and the hazard to people and property posed by the tree. This ranking system is recommended by the International Society of Arboriculture and was used to provide the Village of Prairie du Sac Public Works Department a system for determining in what order the ash trees need to be removed. Trees that are ranked as being in very poor condition or are interfering with utility lines will be removed first. The trees that are to be removed have numerous dead and brittle branches as well as trunk damage. The trees will be removed over the next few years thereby spreading out the removal. The Village has also been provided a list of trees that are well suited for urban environments so that the trees that have been removed can be replaced with species that are more disease and pest resistant. When new trees are planted, a diversity of species will be used in order to limit the impacts of future pests and disease that may become an issue.
Southwest Badger RC&D has spent numerous hours working with the Village of Prairie du Sac on inventorying ash trees, creating a data base of inventoried trees and creating a management plan that will prepare the Village for the looming EAB infestation. The project was funded in part by an Urban Forestry Grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry program as authorized under s.23.097 Wis. Stat.