Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Emerald Ash Borer Discovered in Two New Locations in Dane County

February 15, 2016
Josh Wescott 608-266-9069
County Executive

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has confirmed the discovery of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in two new locations in Dane County. The invasive insect was discovered last week by Dane County Forestry staff at the campground in Token Creek County Park in the town of Burke, and near the Village of McFarland in the new Lower Yahara River Trail construction corridor.


The discovery comes as the County recently secured a new $25,000 state grant for additional staffing to assist in managing the effects locally of the emerald ash borer, plus a $10,000 donation from the Madison Community Foundation for bolstering the tree planting efforts at Mendota and Token Creek County Parks. These dollars along with a $40,000 tree planting budget are the latest effort by Dane County to coordinate an effective community response to the bug. Back in 2009, Dane County was one of the first in the nation to develop a county wide EAB plan.


“Sadly what we planned for many years ago has become reality in more of our parks,” County Executive Joe Parisi said. “We know invasive pests like the emerald ash borer can do a lot of damage in short order and that’s why the County has worked these past few years to quickly plant healthy replacement trees and remove infected ones,” Parisi said.


To date, it is estimated that the county has removed approximately 300 ash trees.


“We’ve planted several hundred new trees on county properties where we felt there would be the greatest impact by the emerald ash borer,” Parks Director Darren Marsh said.


Due to the expected increase in wood waste in both public and private sectors due to EAB, Dane County Solid Waste, in coordination with Dane County Land and Water Resources Department, is running a pilot wood recycling program this year. Once removed, affected trees can be recycled into many viable products including park shelters similar to the recently built shelters at Brigham, Festge and Stewart Lake County Parks. The latest project, targeted for later this year, will utilize much of the lumber from county harvested trees for new park shelters at the very popular Indian Lake County Park.


Dane County’s EAB plan calls for the removal of ash trees in a phased approach, taking trees in the poorest health that pose the highest risk to public safety first. The county began planting replacement trees for the eventual loss in the Ash population in 2010 with a plan of replacing at least 600 of the 1,000-landscaped ash in county owned parks. Ash trees compromise roughly 30% of the county urban forest. When planting new trees, the goal is to have no more than 5% of any one species.


Dane County Forestry staff advises residents to follow the county’s lead and plant replacement trees of different species now to offset for the eventual loss in Ash trees.


More information on Emerald Ash borer:


To see visit: Dane County EAB plan


For more information on Dane County’s is use of recycled wood to build park shelters visit:

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