The City of River Falls has been preparing for Emerald Ash Borer for over 12 years. The City stopped planting Ash trees on the boulevard and in parks in 2004 and has made a concentrated effort to remove any Ash tree that is in decline in anticipation of EAB. The next steps are to systemically chemically treat several high-value Ash trees and to start wide scale removal of smaller ash trees <12" that don't provide the benefits of larger, more mature Ash trees. Any trees scheduled for removal will be marked prior to removal to inform neighbors of the impending removal. The remaining stumps will be ground by the City during the following summer following the removal. Any tree removed will eventually be replaced, but with the amount of Ash trees being removed replacing every Ash tree will not be achievable in any given year.
Although the City will only be chemically treating a few boulevard Ash trees, the City will also allow homeowners to treat the trees in front of their house if they desire to keep their boulevard tree. Documentation of treatment will need to be provided to the City to ensure that a treated tree is not taken down. Regular inspections will also take place looking for EAB on both private and public trees beginning every April. If public Ash tree(s) are identified to be infested with EAB, the City has contracted to have the tree(s) removed. Notices will be sent to private tree owners informing them that they need to have their infested Ash tree removed within a given time of the notice. The City anticipates EAB to spread to its peak in 3-5 years. A combination of chemical treatment, pre-emptive removals, and infested tree removals as EAB spreads will make the peak of Ash tree removals more manageable.