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GLIN==> Threat of emerald ash borer leads to tree removal at University of Wisconsin-Madison



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1/24/07

CONTACT: Gary Brown, (608) 263-3023, gbrown@fpm.wisc.edu

CAMPUS PLAN AIMS TO REMOVE ASH TREES, HEAD OFF EMERALD ASH BORER 

MADISON - Staying one step ahead of an aggressive, wood-boring beetle
that is threatening ash trees in several states is the aim of a plan
that will gradually remove many ash trees at the University of
Wisconsin-Madison.

Officials have begun selectively removing ash trees and scouting for the
emerald ash borer, which has yet to be found in Wisconsin. The beetle
has been found in Michigan, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia - and most
recently in Illinois.

"We hope to gradually remove many of the ash trees on the developed
parts of campus and replace them with more diverse varieties of trees
before the beetle is found here," says Gary Brown, director of planning
and landscape architecture. 

That plan will give the campus more time and flexibility in dealing with
the problem, because the state Department of Natural Resources' plan is
to remove all ash trees within a half-mile of any confirmed infestation
to help eradicate the voracious pest.

"In addition to removing ash trees, we'll take steps to educate the
public about the emerald ash borer and actively scout for the beetle on
campus," says Ellen Agnew, campus arborist. 

There are about 550 ash trees on the developed part of campus, with many
more in the adjacent Lakeshore Nature Preserve.

Agnew's crew in Environmental Services has begun removing about 160 of
the campus ash trees. They were selected based on their location and
poor health status. Appropriate replacements will be planted within a
year of their removal, and about 40 of the ash trees already have a
variety of younger tree replacements planted nearby.

In addition, about 30 ash trees will be designated as "detection trees"
that are girdled in May. The trees are monitored for the emerald ash
borer until the fall, when they will be felled and removed.

About 72 ash trees in the developed part of campus have been designated
for preservation - including two high-value trees that will be
chemically treated to protect them from the pest, in the event that they
are not in a state-designated eradication zone. The other 70 trees are
in places that may not be able to support future tree growth, and some
provide needed shade in parking lots, are healthy or are of a desirable
species.

Another 160 ash trees are likely to be removed as a result of future
construction activity on campus. And about 130 trees surrounding the
campus are shared with the city of Madison, and campus officials will
work with city foresters to determine how to deal with them.

Additionally, the campus will no longer allow the movement of firewood
into picnic areas. Visitors requesting reservations will be notified
beforehand and approved firewood will be provided, if requested.
Informative posters regarding the emerald ash borer will be also be
posted around campus and at the entrances of both Frautschi Point and
Picnic Point.

Officials have also begun using campus tree pruners and volunteers to
scout for the beetle, which is native to China and eastern Asia. 

"In order to be successful, we have to be watchful and proactive," says
Brown. "Although the removal of ash trees will change the campus
landscape, we hope the diverse new plantings will provide an equally
attractive setting for many years to come."

###

- Dennis Chaptman, (608) 262-9406, dchaptman@wisc.edu

****************************************************

For more UW-Madison news, please visit: 
http://www.news.wisc.edu/

University Communications
University of Wisconsin-Madison
27 Bascom Hall
500 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Phone: (608) 262-3571
Fax: (608) 262-2331  

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