La Crosse making progress in fight against ash borer

City hopes to remove all ash trees by end of 2018

The city of La Crosse is continuing its fight against a destructive pest.

Crews cut down roughly 900 ash trees this year as part of the plan to get rid of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The small green insect feasts on the trees, eventually killing it and making the tree a potential safety hazard.

“Every day the borer is in the tree it becomes weaker and weaker, and that increases the risk of them falling on vehicles, houses, pedestrians, so the sooner we can get them out the safer the community will be,” said La Crosse Parks and Forestry Supervisor Dan Trussoni.

To fight against the borer, the city hopes to cut down every ash tree by the end of 2018 and eventually replace every tree that’s been cut down.

“We can remove the trees much quicker than we can replace them,” said Trussoni. “There’s so many variables that go into replacement trees — what’s available in the nurseries, how many we can hold in stock at one time.”

There are still 1800 ash trees standing in the city of La Crosse. City crews replaced 550 trees this year, but still have more than 4000 left to replace.