Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer
Posted on 03/18/2021

The City of Norwalk has closely followed the Emerald Ash Borer infestation over the last several years. The non-native beetle has become the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history since its discovery in the Detroit area in 2002.

People have been hurt and even killed in the U.S. from interactions with fallen or falling ash trees or falling limbs from dead ash trees.

City officials are extremely concerned with the hazards dead ash trees pose. Norwalk has hundreds of ash trees within the city limits, and EVERY tree that is not currently being treated will die. This means the potential for tragic accidents in our City is very real.

City Code Chapter 151 references “Trimming Trees, Disease Control, and Inspection and Removal”. If the City deems a tree a nuisance or diseased, and constitutes it a hazard to neighboring private property or public safety, they can order removal of such tree on private and public property.

Beginning in 2021, the City may require the removal of ash trees determined to have a high potential for failure. Trees with the potential to impact streets, sidewalks, neighboring structures and utilities will be of greatest concern.

The City recognizes that tree removal is expensive and the last year has already been a challenge for many residents, but it would be irresponsible to disregard the threat these trees pose.

If you have an ash tree on your property, you may expect the following:

·       If a dead or dying ash tree is identified, and all or a portion of the tree is determined to pose a hazard to the public, public utilities or infrastructure, private infrastructure, or vegetation, a property owner will be notified requiring the remediation of identified hazard(s) within fourteen (14) days. If contractor availability is an issue, an extension may be granted.

 

·       If the property owner fails to remediate the hazard within the allotted time frame, the City may utilize a contracted vendor to remediate the identified hazard(s). The City will invoice the property owner, and if not paid in thirty (30) days, assess the property owner’s taxes as reimbursement for the removal fees incurred by the City.

If you have questions, contact Tony Stravers in Community Development at 981-0228 ext 2223 or by email at tonys@norwalk.iowa.gov.