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La Crosse’s 6,500 ash trees won’t be gone until end of 2018, as invasive species continues to wreak havoc

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Five types of ash trees nearly extinct in U.S. because of emerald ash borer 

Ten years ago, few people in Wisconsin had heard of an insect called the emerald ash borer.

Now, several states are actively cutting down thousands, if not millions, of ash trees either killed by the borer or in the bug’s path. La Crosse has been in the bug’s path, beginning about five years ago.

“If you include the boulevard and parks together, we started with about 6,500 ash trees in the city,” Dan Trussoni, with the La Crosse parks dept. said. “We’re under 1,000 now and our hope to have them completely removed by the end of 2018.”

Trussoni, who is trying to replace those trees, also said about 500 privately-owned ash trees have been treated with pesticide and will have to continue to be treated.

“This fall, I’m working right now on placing an order of about 300 trees,” he said. “And, of those 300 trees, we’re looking at about 15 different varieties.”

A new nationwide study shows that five well-known species of ash – Black, white, green, blue and pumpkin – are nearly extinct in the U.S. because of that invasive beetle.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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