Evansville library losing trees

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The park outside Willard Library is about to lose some trees. Crews were out cutting branches in preparation to take down several ash trees.

The problem with the two ash trees is the emerald ash borer. The bugs burrow into the tree bark and over time, end up killing the tree.

Arborists have no choice but to cut them down. It's a fate Library Director Greg Hager is sad to see.

"It is unfortunate because they've been here for so long, and it's always sad to see trees at the end of life," said Hager.

The trees were treated just over one year ago for an emerald ash borer infestation, but it was too late to save them.

"The adult lays its egg in the bark, and then it burrows into the bark. And over one year's worth of time, it eats the cambium, the only living portion of the tree on the trunk," said City Arborist Shaw Dickerson.

Once a tree is found with emerald ash borer in an area, all other ash trees in the area will begin to die in six to 10 years.

This is why Dickerson says it must be treated immediately.

"Don't wait until you see exit holes. Don't wait until the tree begins to die, because by then, there is a good chance that it's going to be too late to save the tree," Dickerson said.

It's already too late to save Willard's trees, but new trees are expected to be planted in their place.

"We want to maintain our park, and we want to keep our park looking good," Hager said. "It's just, we won't have trees that big for a long time."

Hager also told us he's not sure what type of trees they will plant after the ash trees are removed, but he would like it to be a tree native to the area.

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