Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a shiny emerald green beetle about ¾ inches long. It was imported into the State of Michigan from China in the 1990's and since that time it has gradually spread. It is now confirmed in 25 states. In August of 2008 the first infestation was found in Wisconsin in the Village of Newburg. In June 2014 the first infestation was found in the City of Hartford.
The Emerald Ash Borer beetle only feeds on ash trees. It lays eggs which hatch in early summer and the larva tunnel into the tree. Larva feed under the bark consuming the cambium and phloem layers causing the tree to die.
The City of Hartford has been preparing for EAB since the first infestation was found in Wisconsin. City of Hartford Municipal Code Chapter 19 Trees is an ordinance that establishes policies, regulations and standards necessary to ensure the City realize the benefits of its urban forest. The City of Hartford established an EAB Readiness Plan in July 2010 to prepare for the infestation of EAB in the City of Hartford. The City is moving forward with the plans at this time.
The Engineering and Public Works Department oversees the management of street trees (trees between curb and sidewalk). All ash street trees are being scheduled for removal unless the homeowner has indicated that they intend to treat the ash tree. The DPW will leave a notice with the homeowner when scheduling a tree removal. A street tree replacement program is part of the plans. In the event that planting a new street tree is not suitable for the site homeowners will be notified.
Hartford Electric Utility performs line maintenance including the trimming of branches around power lines and removal of dead or hazardous trees that impact the utility. Hartford Electric will remove all infested ash trees that are near power lines. Homeowners will be informed if a tree is scheduled to be removed. If a homeowner is treating an ash tree on their property they must provide notice to the Utility Director of the treatment so it is not taken down.
Homeowners are responsible to properly maintain trees on their property. Without treatment an ash tree that is infested with EAB will die. The City of Hartford has requirements that homeowners are to remove dead, diseased and hazardous trees. Municipal Code 19.07 c) (PDF) and 19.10 (PDF) address the homeowner responsibilities concerning private property trees including maintenance and care.