Due to the emerald ash borer infestation that has reached South Dakota, the City of Redfield has been removing all ash trees located in the public right of ways as a precautionary measure.
The emerald ash borer is a green jewel beetle that feeds on and kills Ash trees. According to Dennis Clemens, a representative of the Spink Conservation District, the beetles dry out the trees, causing them to crumble and fall apart during removal attempts.
“The best thing to do is get ahead of it,” said Clemens, in an address to the Redfield City Council. The beetle infestation is expected to arrive in Redfield by 2029.
According to Adam Hansen, City Council Finance Officer, the City is aiming to get ahead of the beetle by taking immediate action on the public ash removal process. Already, City employees began removing ash trees on Redfield Main Street last week. After removing all ash trees on public land, the city will begin to talk to private land owners about removing the ash trees on private land.
“That might be a year or two down the road,” said Hansen. “We are focusing on the public [trees] right now.”