A western Wisconsin city will remove hundreds of healthy trees from its city parks to help fend off the emerald ash borer.
In the La Crosse area, the emerald ash borer has been seen by a mall, and in the neighboring town of Medary. But, to hold off an infestation, La Crosse park administrators will cut down 894 ash trees while those trees are healthy, and sell the wood. Gar Amunson is La Crosse’s Park Director. He says the city will make thousands of dollars from the wood, and get rid of what could be a public nuisance at the same time.
"You want to get them now before they get disease, right? Or they will die very fast," he says. "And when the dead tree is there, limbs fall very easily, and they fall on the darndest things like people, cars, pets."
Two companies are buying the wood. Amunson says all cut trees will be replaced by varieties other than ash.
The La Cross Common Council must approve the project when it meets in December. Amunson hopes to start cutting the trees down in January.