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Des Moines Considers Ash Borer Battle Plan

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An 11-year, $10 million Des Moines proposal to fight the insect killer of ash trees focuses on about 13,000 "high impact" ash trees near streets, buildings, parking lots and parks that pose a liability to the public and to property.

The Des Moines Register reports that the plan presented to the City Council on Monday says about 7,200 ash trees would be removed and 5,800 would be treated with a chemical to kill the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. The remaining 34,000 ash trees are in natural areas and would be left to die.

City Councilman Skip Moore is a former arborist for the city, and he wondered Monday whether it would be wise to stop other city forestry functions to focus on the ash trees.