Forestry experts host annual tree care workshop

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Forestry experts in Rapid City held a tree care workshop on Monday. They met at the Outdoor Campus-West to discuss what types of trees to plant, where to plant them and how to maintain them.

The workshop is hosted annually by the Rapid City Urban Forestry Board. One of this year’s main topics was invasive bugs that can harm plants.

One bug, the Emerald Ash Borer, is making its way across the state. Right now it’s in the Sioux Falls area and experts say West River residents have a little time to take steps to stop the bug.

Photo courtesy of the South Dakota Department of Agriculture

The Emerald Ash Borer was introduced from Asia and is destroying ash trees across the eastern US and Canada. Its presence has expanded rapidly through the transportation of infested firewood. It was first discovered in South Dakota in northern Sioux Falls in May of 2018.

South Dakota is heavily dependent on ash trees to prevent erosion and protect bodies of water from pollutants and runoff — particularly from farm and livestock operations.

They also create important habitat for wildlife. Experts say the Emerald Ash Borer’s economic impact on communities and landowners across the state will be enormous.

According to Rapid City urban forester Andy Bernard, “Don’t bring firewood. We’re a destination place, a lot of people come to camp here. Leave your firewood at home, don’t bring it here. Don’t plant ash trees. If you have an ugly one, consider cutting it down and planting something different.”

Bernard says you can contact the city if you have a dying tree and they’ll come and inspect it for the Ash Borer.

You can learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News