The plight of Wisconsin’s ash trees has been well documented, but Oak Creek is trying a rather interesting way to stifle the Emerald Ash Borer. Stingless wasps, which are native to China like the borer, can be effective at killing the species. The method has been tried in Northern Illinois and Newburg, Wis.
The Emerald Ash Borer was first spotted in Wisconsin in 2008 and in Oak Creek in 2009, which likely means it arrived years earlier. Once trees are affected, they can die within a year. While Oak Creek has a plan in place to replace ash trees, this could buy them more time – and save money. The Department of Natural Resources does the actual field work and foots the bill for the wasps.
A narrow 3-2 vote by Oak Creek’s city council passed the measure. A possible release is planned for Milwaukee County-owned Oak Creek Parkway just south of the airport.