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City Forester gives advice on spring tree planting on Decorah's boulevards

Posted: Wed, Apr 12, 2017 10:44 AM

With spring officially here, many are beginning to think about planting trees. Many residents may have questions about how to plant trees, what types to plant, and how the Emerald Ash Borer may impact their trees.

How to plant trees:
Selection of healthy, viable nursery stock should be a consideration for anyone planting this spring. There are many great resources available, with guides and pictures to help homeowners with a step by step process. The Iowa DNR and Trees Forever are two helpful resources. Also, there will be a live demonstration at "Pancakes for Parks" on Saturday, April 22nd at John Cline Elementary School. Everyone is welcome to attend.

What to plant:
Although most folks love a large colorful maple tree, the City of Decorah recommends homeowners choose from a more diverse selection of trees for our city's boulevards. Maples currently already make up 48 percent of Decorah's boulevard trees. If you are considering planting on the boulevard, diversify your trees by choosing trees that do not belong to the same genus as one another. This diversification can help with any future exotic pests or disease outbreaks that may occur. The City, along with the Tree Board is offering a detailed voucher to homeowners that lists tree species according to height requirements, care instructions, and city ordnance set‐back for boulevard tree locations. This voucher is available on‐line on the city's website, or available at City Hall.

Winneshiek County, along with 45 other counties in Iowa, is experiencing an infestation from an exotic beetle, Emerald Ash Borer. This exotic pest
attacks host trees of all Ash species. The City of Decorah has begun a plan of action, by removing Ash trees from city boulevards this past February. The city plans to continue the removal process over the next few years, with the intention of removing all boulevard Ash trees before they become a public hazard.

City officials are pledging to notify homeowners before removal (door hangers will be left with removal permit and information). to remove the affected trees as safely as possible, to grind the stumps of affected trees and to fill holes left behind with soil and seed.

Please contact City Forester Robin Sailor with any further questions
at: or phone 563‐277‐5153.