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Ask NOW: Is the emerald ash borer coming to Brookfield?

The canopy of a tree infested by emerald ash borers begins to thin. Sprouts grow from the trunk of this tree on Highway 83 in Mukwonago after the death of the top portion.

The canopy of a tree infested by emerald ash borers begins to thin. Sprouts grow from the trunk of this tree on Highway 83 in Mukwonago after the death of the top portion. Photo By Carol Spaeth-Bauer

March 11, 2014

Is there a rumor you'd like tracked down? Rory Linnane answers some of the mysteries of life in Brookfield and helps solve everyday problems.

How can Brookfield prepare for emerald ash borer?

Question: Many residents have been calling the city's Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department with concerns about emerald ash borer, wondering whether it has shown up in Brookfield and how they can save their ash trees.

Answer: Emerald ash borers, invasive green beetles that kill ash trees by eating into their bark, have Brookfield surrounded, with a presence in New Berlin, Wauwatosa and Waukesha.

"Bascially, it's all around us, and there's a probability we're going to find it shortly if it's not already here in Brookfield," Parks and Forestry Superintendent Gary Majeskie said.

Although it hasn't been reported yet in the city, Majeskie said, the city has been preparing for it to arrive since 2004, two years after it was first spotted in Detroit.

"Early on I saw this as a problem," Majeskie said. "The city's in a pretty good position to be ready for this."

Since 2004, city workers have not planted any new ash trees. Where ash trees already existed, they have planted other species around them to take over should the ash trees go down with the beetles.

Residents, too, have been proactive. Majeskie said he regularly gets calls from homeowners wondering how they can protect their ash trees.

Now would be a prudent time for residents to treat any ash trees they would like to save from the emerald ash borer, he said. Tree care companies can provide an insecticide treatment that is effective against emerald ash borer.

"Past history indicates if it ends up in our community, which it will, if you don't protect your ash trees, chances of it succumbing to this are pretty good," Majeskie said. "Some experts say it's inevitable."

Majeskie recommended checking out datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab for information on how to protect ash trees and identify emerald ash borer.

Submit your question for Ask NOW by sending an email to Rory Linnane at rlinnane@jrn.com.

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