Tree City USA vs. the Emerald Ash Borer

The city of Quincy is preparing for an enemy that may be hard to see, but could be devastating to Tree City USA.

The Emerald Ash Borer was last spotted in Burlington, Iowa.

It is believed the Emerald Ash Borer made its way to Michigan in 2002, and has been making its way across the country since.

This bug can kill ash trees and at a high rate.

It lays its larva into an ash tree, blocking the path for nutrients to make it all the way through the tree and eventually ending the tree's life.

This is a threat to Quincy ... A city with more than 800 ash trees.

"It's getting closer. And we can still be as far as two, three, four years away, but one thing that we do know is that it's coming," Pete Holtschlag, Quincy Forester said.

"It's one of those things ... It's keeping your eyes open, and understanding what you are looking for, and understanding that treatment options is a whole other side of things we would have to look at too," Kari Houle with the University of Illinois Extension said.

The city has every ash tree in town graded and in an inventory.

This is the first step in the treatment plan.

Not all of these trees are in tip top shape, and the city will have to decide which trees to target its treatment on.

That way they can focus on bigger, stronger and more beautiful ash trees.

"We are Tree City USA and we have a lot of gorgeous trees. It would be a shame to lose these ash trees, because when they come, it doesn't miss any," Holtschlag said.

You can treat your ash trees with a number of different chemicals yourself.

"Evaluate your tree. See if it's an ash, evaluate if it is worth treating. And if it is worth treating, understand it is not 100 percent, but be prepared and know what you want to do because depending on the size of the tree will help you know if you can do it yourself, or do you need a hired professional," Houle said.

The best time to treat an ash tree is in the spring. Holtshlag said their treatment process will begin next spring. He said the treatment has cost some cities $12 an inch. He is unsure on how much it will cost the city when they begin treatment.

The city has met with Arborjet representatives about a treatment plan.

Arborjet's product is a preventative chemical injected into the tree.

This could be Quincy's method starting next spring.