MASON CITY, Iowa- The brutal cold temperatures aren’t just hurting the hands and faces of North Iowans and Southern Minnesota, it’s also freezing pass their insulation, but that might not be a bad thing according to local experts.
“In the top of the canopy you can see good healthy buds,” said Jesse Fox, a Tree healthcare specialist with Cutting Edge.
He knows trees.
“Home owners who pay to treat their trees this year can hold off until the spring of 2020; that’s how effective this cold blast could be,” he said.
He views trees as living, green assets and checks on the health of trees in the area. That includes being on the lookout for emerald ash borer larva. This year he thinks the ash borer will be less of a problem because it has been so remarkably cold.
“It’s promising,” he said.
Cerro Gordo County hasn’t confirmed a case yet. Fox said right now the bug larva remains under the bark of the tree staying warm beneath the insulation, but that insulation isn’t enough to protect the larva in these record breaking temps.
“Everyone in north Iowa and all the way up through Minnesota is actually going to lose an entire generation of insect,” Fox Explained.
Though the insect might not be as dominant this year as it has in the past, Fox said there is still much to be done. The city won’t stop its efforts to keep the bug from infecting ash trees in your backyard. The goal is to treat, trim, and replace vulnerable trees and this brutal cold is giving the green warriors more time to plan their assault.
“We can use our staff internally to address these issues and replace that urban forestry,” said City Administrator Aaron Burnett.
Fox makes it clear, we are not out of the woods just yet.
“It will never go away, but what this does mean is that it could be several years before the population is restored to the numbers that are out there right now,” Fox said.
Fox said this is also food news for getting rid of other invasive species that attack trees or vegetation. But just the emerald Ash Borer.
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