Douglas County residents are being encouraged to either get rid of their ash trees or commit to a lifetime of treating them against the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has devastated tree populations elsewhere.
State and U.S. departments of agriculture confirmed the presence of the insect last month in a tree in Eudora, southeast of Lawrence.
Kansas State University Extension horticulture agent Marlin Bates says with the insect so close, it’s best to assume every ash tree in the northeast Kansas county is in danger of infestation.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports the mortality rate for infected trees is 100 percent.
Bates says ash trees need to be treated every year, and owners who don’t want to do that should consider removing the tree before it becomes infected.