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Vernon takes action to prevent Emerald Ash Borer

Published: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 10:40 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 11:22 a.m. CDT

The Emerald Ash Borer beetle has made its way into Newton, and The Vernon Company is tackling the issue head-on with pre-emptive measures. 

About two months ago, it was confirmed that the Emerald Ash Borer, a green beetle native to Asia and Eastern Russia, had been identified in the northern section of Newton. Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees throughout the country. However, upon learning of the inevitable spread of the infestation, Vernon took immediate action.

Working closely with the City of Newton, Vernon has contracted with Sumner Tree Service to utilize an innovative no-drill treatment system on the 29 trees located prominently on the Vernon campus, just 5 blocks north of the downtown area.

“We thoroughly investigated a number of possible measures we could take to prevent having to remove the beautiful Ash trees on our property,” said Chris Vernon, MAS, the company’s president. “We quickly realized that the best prevention method would be via injection at the base of the tree, rather than ‘drenching’ the surrounding ground with chemicals. Other methods may cost less, but injection treatments handled by a professional have produced a 98 percent success rate and have proven to be safer for the environment.”

Vernon will closely monitor the Ash trees on its campus, and has plans to report back to the city next year on the success rate of the injections. It is estimated that the injection treatment will cost the company approximately $100 per tree each year.

Individuals with Ash trees on their property should consider treating their trees now, and should familiarize themselves with their options, particularly if they want to keep the trees alive and thriving.

For more information about what the City of Newton is doing to address the EAB issue in the community, contact Nathan Unsworth, Newton Parks and Grounds Department, at (641) 792-1470 or email to nathanu@newtongov.org.

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