The Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture have confirmed that a tree in central Lincoln is infested with Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). City Forestry staff made the discovery last week, but the infestation appeared to be two years old. Previously, the insect had been only located in southwest Lincoln.
“Finding live EAB larvae in an ash tree in the center of Lincoln confirms our suspicion that the EAB has been in Lincoln for a few years,” said Lynn Johnson, Parks and Recreation Director.
The City Council approved Lincoln’s EAB Response and Recovery Plan last year. The plan includes the phased removal over 15 years of about 14,000 public ash trees along streets and in parks. A diverse mix of trees will be planted to replace the public ash trees. Chemical injection treatment may prolong the life of healthy ash trees, but treatment of public ash trees is not planned during the current two-year budget period.
Lincoln Parks and Recreation will provide information about a new “Adopt an Ash Tree” program at the City’s Arbor Day Celebration, Saturday, April 27. The event is from 1 to 3 p.m. at Stransky Park, South 17th Street and Harrison Avenue. The optional program begins May 1 and allows residents to pay for licensed contractors to treat public ash trees located adjacent to homes and businesses. Program participants are required to obtain a free permit from Lincoln Parks and Recreation that allows the department to track the treatment process.