Ashwaubenon is the newest municipality in Brown County to confirm an infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) following previous discoveries in Green Bay, Howard, DePere and the Towns of Glenmore and Morrison. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection designated Brown County as a quarantined County in 2009.
Village Forester Tim Bauknecht made the discovery on January 26. Branch samples were collected from the tree and subsequently suspicious larval galleries were noticed under the bark. Linda Williams, WI-DNR Regional Forest Health Specialist, confirmed the samples as showing positive signs for EAB on February 4.
The Village of Ashwaubenon has been preparing for EAB’s arrival for almost a decade. The planting of ash, while proven to be a very durable urban tree, was discontinued in Village planting projects in 2005. A park tree planting plan was created to identify potential new planting sites in the Village’s Parks and greenspaces to ensure future canopy coverage with special consideration given to increasing species diversity. In September of 2015, the Village chemically treated over half of the Village’s 464 inventoried ash trees located in Ashwaubenon’s Parks to provide protection for up to three years from EAB.
The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Citizens should watch for metallic-green beetles about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress. Other signs of infestation in ash trees include D-shaped holes in the bark, shoots growing from the base and patches of bark being flecked off by woodpecker activity. Any Ashwaubenon resident who suspects a tree has been infested with EAB is urged to contact the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department at (920) 492-2331.