A survey of trees in the boulevards of Decorah has counted around 425 ash trees. That's an important figure because of the Emerald Ash Borer's impact on Black Ash, Green Ash and White Ash trees.
Tree Board chair Jeremy Bril says 134 ash trees have now been cut down--about one-third the total. The City Tree Board last year paid for 84 new replacement trees to be planted.
The City of Decorah has spent around $40,000 per year in recent years on its tree removal program. City Forester Robin Sailor says most small cities are choosing to cut down ash trees instead of treating them because they have a more manageable number of ash trees than big cities do.
Private property owners in Decorah face a bigger challenge than the city does. No formal survey has been done of ash trees on private property within the City of Decorah, but it's estimated there are 1,200 of them. Tree experts say it's best to leave the trees standing and enjoy the shade until the symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer begin to show up in the trees, when it's wise to have them cut down.