CASS COUNTY – Cass County Conservation Director Micah Lee said the discovery of the Emerald Ash Borer within a mile of the outdoor classroom near Massena is cause for concern with several ash trees in the area that could be in danger. Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle, whose larvae is known to feed on the inner bark of ash trees which can cause significant damage or death to the tree. It is native to Asia and arrived in the United States in 2002, traveling in wood packing materials. It made its way to Iowa in firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs.

Lee, speaking to the Cass County Board of Supervisors, said there were Pine, Ash and other hardwood trees at the classroom, and he was hoping to add “10 other different species of hardwood (trees there).”

However, he said, “you can see (trees) out there dying,” but it was unknown if that was the result of the Emerald Ash Borer — but he said it was possible. Unfortunately, he said, if that was the case, the solution would be to get rid of the trees.

“We’re (probably) going to have to go in there and cut them all down,” Lee said.

The wood could be sold for firewood, but it couldn’t be sold or moved out of the county. It can be used as wood chips if the chip is 1’ X 1’ or smaller.

Insecticide treatments, including imidacloprid and dinotefuran, can be used to protect the tree, but those treatments may not be effective depending on other factors, including if the tree had been injured previously, how old the tree is, how much moisture is in the soil and how compacted the soil is. Individuals can also contact their local extension office for more information about Emerald Ash Borer.