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September 25, 2013

Treatment will protect some Vigo County park trees from emerald ash borer

110 ash trees to be treated at Fowler Park

TERRE HAUTE — Vigo County park officials plan to treat 150 ash trees to prevent their being lost to the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that kills ash trees.

The insect was officially confirmed as being in the county in February, when it was discovered on trees on the Indiana State University campus.

Next spring, Adam Grossman, assistant superintendent of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, will treat 110 trees at Fowler Park.

“The trees provide a canopy for camping at the park so we can’t lose them,” Grossman told the county’s park board this week.

Grossman will be certified in November for pesticide application and receive an ornamental tree certification in February, allowing him to be licensed to treat the trees. A chemical is injected and absorbed into the trees. The chemical is used every other year for about 12 years, Grossman said.

The anticipated chemical cost to treat the trees in Fowler Park is $3,688.

Grossman will treat 45 trees in Hawthorn Park and 10 trees in Prairie Creek Park in 2014. The chemical cost to treat Hawthorn Park is estimated at $1,192 and $858 for Prairie Creek Park, Grossman said.

In addition, park workers next year will begin to clear out ash trees that are in high risk areas, such as along trails or near park shelters. That will allow the county to recoup some logging funds to help pay for treatment of the 150 trees. Lumber mills will not accept ash trees hit by the ash borer, Grosssman said. The Vigo County Park Board is expected to approve the logging later this year.

Grossman said many other ash trees in county parks will be killed by the ash borer; however, those trees will be left alone unless a need arises to remove the trees. Once the insect hits, an ash tree customarily dies within three years. The tree’s bark falls off in large chunks, along with large limbs.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.

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