Lyndon cautioned about emerald ash borer

LYNDON—Kim Bomberger, the Kansas Forest Service, spoke with the Lyndon City Council about emerald ash borer, which has been detected in five counties in northeast Kansas.

“It’s a small metallic green beetle imported here from China in the 1980s,” Bomberger said. “According to the last tree inventory done in Lyndon, 45 percent of the city’s elm trees were rated in poor condition. These trees are vulnerable to EAB because a tree in distress sends out signals, which draw in secondary invaders insects like EAB. Kansas City was the first to detect EAB and has been encouraging a ‘burn it where you buy it’ campaign, because EAB is easily transported on firewood.”

Bomberger said the county’s outdoor recreation increases its risk of the nuisance invasion.

“Lyndon and the surrounding three lakes are highly vulnerable to campers bringing their firewood with them,” Bomberger said.

She said the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Corps of Engineers are working to contain the spread of ash borers by quarantining raw wood in detected areas.

The council asked Bomberger about scheduling a new tree inventory this year. She agreed to do one around October or November.

“The last tree inventory was done in 2001,” Bomberger said. “EAB are hard to detect early because the tree won’t show signs of canopy loss for five to six years, after which it’s too late to save the tree.

She said the city needs to start budgeting now for mitigating the issue, and encourage residents to plant more diverse types of trees. Combating the ash borer requires chemical treatment or soil drenching, which she said most cities have not budgeted.

“Lawrence has had to tap into its emergency funds,” Bomberger said. “

Ash borers tunnel between the bark and wood, disrupting water and nutrients, causing the bark to fall off and the tree to die. In the event that ash trees need to be cut down, Bomberger encouraged the city to look at repurposing the ash wood into lumber.

In other business, the council:

• accepted the resignation of James Kneisler, council member. Kneisler and his family moved out of the city limits.

• approved a one-year contract with Ottawa Sanitation for $1,161 per month for trash removal.

“Our streets are not designed for heavy trash trucks and so they need to stay in the middle of the streets to prevent curb damages,” said Dave Wilson, public works supervisor.

• approved a measure to reclassify Lyndon City Lake for recreational use instead of municipal use.

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