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City braces for emerald ash borer

The Wadena City Council approved a shade tree disease control and prevention ordinance revised in anticipation of the arrival of the emerald ash borer. The ordinance now include ash and oak trees in addition to elm trees.

The new ordinance was taken from the city's old ordinance, a model ordinance from the League of Minnesota Cities and input from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, according to Planning and Zoning Director Byron Larson.

The ordinance states: "The city council determines that the health of elm, oak and ash trees within the city limits is threatened by fatal diseases known as Dutch elm, oak wilt, and emerald ash bore[r] diseases, and other trees may be threatened by other diseases of shade trees. The city council further determines that the loss of elm, oak and other trees growing upon public and private property would substantially depreciate the value of property within the city and impair the safety, good order, general welfare and convenience of the public."

The ordinance provides for controlling the spread of diseases and the removal of dead or diseased trees.

The ordinance will be published in the Pioneer Journal for a comment period.