Fox Point - Fox Point officials are working to begin an eight-year treatment plan in 2013 to keep the village's ash trees from falling victim to the emerald ash borer.
Adult emerald ash borers feed on the leaves of ash trees and lay eggs on the trunks. Larvae bore through the bark of the trees, develop in the outer sapwood, and eventually chew their way back out as adults to begin the cycle anew.
EAB was first detected in the United States in 2002, and has since spread to multiple states and 11 Wisconsin counties, including Milwaukee. Brown Deer detected its first infested tree in August.
Fox Point Village Forester John Gall presented the eight-year, approximately $1.2 million plan to treat certain ash trees and remove others throughout the village.
"(EAB) has spread like wildfire throughout the Midwest," Gall said. "Not managing the problem is the wrong approach."
Members of the Village Board said that the treatment program will be need to be part of financial planning in the coming months.
"This sounds like a budget item going forward," Village President Michael West said. "This lays a groundwork for during budget discussions"
According to the plan as presented by Gall, the Fox Point Department of Public Works would treat a total of 850 ash trees in the public right of way over the course of the next eight years with soil injections meant to prevent EAB from infesting trees, and root injections for trees found to be mildly infested.
Gall said that he believes there probably are some infected trees throughout the village, though it would be difficult to say which ones at this point.
"In low populations, (EAB) is extremely difficult to detect," he told the board.
Over the course of the plan, the DPW would remove and replace ash trees with a diameter less than four inches, greater than or equal to 25 inches, or below a certain condition as defined by the DPW.
Ultimately, ash trees would decrease from 29 percent of the Fox Point village-owned tree population to 10 percent.
Not yet determined is where the DPW, contractors and private property owners who remove their ash trees will take the wood for removal.
"(North Shore communities) have discussed locations," Public Works Director Scott Brandmeier said, "but there has not been any consensus."
That will be part of the village's decision making as it works the program into its capital budget.
"This is a good start to the budget issue," West said, "notwithstanding the bigger issue of removal."
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