City of Springfield treating ash trees infected by non-native insect

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- City of Springfield treating ash trees infected by non-native insect.

"That area between the sidewalk and the street, that's typically where those trees are going to be," said Joe Payne, Operations Supervisor for Public Grounds.

The emerald ash borer is taking it's toll on ash trees in the Ozarks, weakening ash trees from the inside out. Which then, it becomes a danger to people living and traveling nearby.

"In a single season even it can begin to decay pretty quickly and to get compromised so that it might break up in the wind," said Payne. "So one of the things we're trying to do is just proactively just try and get those weak trees removed and get the ones still in good shape shape that we can help slow that progress."

The city has already identified the trees that will be removed or treated with orange markings. Many of them are found along the roadways.

The city earmarked $75,000 this year for the project, which will cover treating about half of the ash trees in the city, removing the ones that can't be saved. Contractors have already started working zone by zone. But, The city will only work on city land. So you're on your own if you have ash trees on your property. And, how you dispose of the tree is very important.

"You don't want to cut it up for firewood and leave it, because in the time that you do that your neighbors ash or other ash trees that you have on your property," Payne said. "It's just gonna leave those logs and move out to the live trees. It's not a chicken little story, it's just a very small percentage of those trees but we don't want it to become a bigger problem. It is just limited to ash trees."

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