New tree ordinance may take root in Fairfield

The Fairfield City Council is almost ready to pass a new tree ordinance, which would limit residents from spraying their trees with insecticides.

Right now Iowa Code bans cities from regulating pesticide use commercially, but private use is still allowed. Insecticide kills insects like the emerald ash borer. The invasive beetle was recently detected in the city of Fairfield. Without a city forester, the public works director, parks director, sustainability coordinator and city councilman Michael Halley have teamed up to educate the community on EAB. They also work together to mitigate the problem.

â??I was actually invited to the Iowa Urban Tree Council's luncheon last week up in Johnston, and it was interesting that I was sitting with several foresters from bigger cities in Iowa and realized in terms of EAB, Fairfield is up to speed and is doing the right things,â?? Halley said. â??Weâ??re following the best practices as the DNR is advising us.â??

The new ordinance will be discussed at the next city council meeting on April 14. The city has partnered with Alliant Energy to begin ash tree removal. Replanting other species of trees will begin in late April or early May.

Previous stories...

Proposed ordinance limits use of insecticide in Fairfield

EAB predicted to infest ash trees in Ottumwa in two years or less

Informational meetings will educate the public on Emerald Ash Borer