Baileys Harbor Considers Future of Ash Trees

As all municipalities in the county will have to do at some time since the June 10 announcement that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) had been found in Door County, the Town of Baileys Harbor began the process of what to do about threatened ash trees on town property at the town board’s regular monthly meeting on Aug. 18.

“Eventually they are going to die out,” said Town Chairman Don Sitte. “The time frame for this to happen is five to eight years.”

Sitte, who also serves on the Door County Board of Supervisors, said the county is advising municipalities to start thinking now about what to do with municipal ash trees.

Tom Salzsieder of Salzsieder Nursery, Forestville, was on hand to answer questions, as was consulting naturalist Bob Bultman.

“You can treat ’em, but it’s not cost effective,” Salzsieder said.

Treatment costs can range from $75 to $250 per tree, he said. The low-end cost is for an annual soil drench. The high-end cost is for an injection delivered every other year.

Bultman reminded everyone that when Dutch Elm disease wiped out municipal elms across the country in the mid-20th century, they were mostly replaced with ash. Diversity is the key to healthy municipal trees, he said.

However, he said, Baileys Harbor has several prominent ash trees, six of which are on town hall property.

“Our trees all look good right now,” Bultman said, “but it is possible [EAB is] already in the Town of Baileys Harbor.”

The board decided to have Bultman work with town supervisors Barbara Anschutz and Roberta Thelen to look into the ash situation in Baileys Harbor and report back to the board with a plan before budget time.