The Ottumwa Parks Department has confirmed the invasive emerald ash borer has arrived in the City of Bridges.
Parks Director Gene Rathje says he got a call a couple months ago from property owners who suspected their trees were infected. After inspection Rathje and the park maintenance foreman confirmed several trees within the city limits are now infested.
He says if you have an ash tree you need to inspect it. Look for things like bark being flecked off by woodpeckers, sprouts and suckers growing up from the base of the tree and small d-shaped exit holes. Also a general decline in the health of the tree is a good indicator of EAB infestation.
"If you see any of those signs, the best thing to do is have the tree either treated immediately by a tree service contractor or have the tree removed so that the bug doesn't spread but the emerald ash borer has been found within the city limits of Ottumwa," Rathje said.
Next the infected city owned trees will be removed and grinded up into mulch or taken to the landfill. Rathje says eventually EAB will kill all the ash trees in Ottumwa.