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La Crescent begins fight against emerald ash borer

Some of these ash trees along First Street in La Crescent were diagnosed with emerald ash borer that can kill the trees. Because of the early signs of an infestation, the city is considering an ordinance aimed at slowing the disease.

LA CRESCENT — La Crescent will take its first steps in controlling emerald ash borer when its city council begins discussing its Shade Tree Pest Control Ordinance during tonight's meeting.

The borer, which kills ash trees, was found more than a year ago several miles away from La Crescent along Interstate 90. An adult beetle was found in the town in August, and on Jan. 2, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture said it had found several infected trees along a boulevard near downtown La Crescent.

To control the spread, the city began writing the ordinance, said

City Administrator Bill Waller said the city hopes the ordinance will help control the spread of the infestation. The ordinance won't stop the beetle, but it should slow it down, he said. "You don't want to deal with it all in one year," he said.

The city has about 600 ash trees in parks and along streets as well as others on private land, he said. Treatment options are available but expensive, he said.


The proposed ordinance would require immediate removal or effective treatment of any infected tree. If a landowner is informed of an infected tree and does nothing, the city will take action and charge the cost to the landowner.

The ordinance also authorizes a tree inspector to check for infected trees and investigate all reported cases.

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