The City of Madison Forestry Section has confirmed multiple new cases of emerald ash borer, according to a release.
The emerald ash borer is a jewel beetle species that feeds on ash trees, and has killed hundreds of millions of the trees in North America. The new outbreaks have occurred in Madison neighborhoods that had not been impacted previously.
Two other recent cases of emerald ash borer were identified in Dane County last month. As the number of cases grows, the city anticipates more cases to come.
“With these new infestations being confirmed across the City, it is clear that we must now assume that the menace of EAB is spread across the entirety of our City,” Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release.
The city’s Emerald Ash Borer Mitigation Plan, adopted in 2012, aims to halt the spread of the infestation throughout Madison. Aspects of the plan include treatment for more than 9,800 ash trees on the terrace, the removal and replacement of all remaining ash on the terrace and in the parks and the option for private funding to support the treatment of ash trees in the parks, according to the release.
More than 2,200 ash trees on the terrace have been removed and 744 trees have been replanted as of December 2015, according to the release. The City of Madison is scheduled to plant more than 1,000 additional trees throughout 2016.
Emerald ash borer has persisted as a problem in Madison, but officials say they believe their plan can slow the infestation.
“We are fortunate to have been provided significant resources to implement the EAB Mitigation Plan that focuses on providing a diverse and sustainable urban forest for the future,” Parks Superintendent Eric Knepp said in the release.