Frequently Asked Questions
Our black, green, and white ash trees and their cultivars are all susceptible to attack. Emerald ash borer does not attack mountainash or ash-leaf maple (boxelder). These trees are not related to ash.
How to identify an ash tree
All ash trees have a compound leaf, meaning its leaves are divided into smaller leaflets. One leaf will typically consist of 5-11 leaflets attached to a single stem (petiole) that can be traced back to the twig. The edges of the leaflets may be smooth or toothed. Ash trees exhibit an opposite leaf pattern, meaning that leaves, twigs and buds are located directly across from each other. On mature ash trees, the bark has a distinct pattern of diamond-shaped ridges. Younger trees have smoother bark. When seeds are present, they appear in paddle-shaped clusters that stay on the tree until late fall or early winter. More information about identifying Ash Trees.
Green Ash Seeds
The map below shows the area for selective ash tree removal in 2019.
Approximately 1/3 of all parking strip ash trees within the tree removal area will be removed. Trees selected for removal were based on age, size, location and condition.
If your tree is not removed in 2019, a new area will be selected each year as part of the 10 year response plan. Upcoming areas will be released in the future.
Trees targeted for removal in 2019 will be marked with a blue “9” starting in October 2018. Residents with a marked tree will be notified prior to removal.
If you've treated any ash tree(s) yourself or plan to treat the tree(s) please call (211) Helpline Center and report what tree(s) have been treated on your property. Information they will need to know includes;
- What year the tree(s) were treated or plan to be treated?
- Is the tree(s) currently marked for removal with a “Blue” number?
- If marked with a “Blue” number, what is the number marked?
- Do you plan to treat the tree yourself or hire an arborist?
Adult Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetles emerge from infested wood during the summer months. Any logs, firewood or waste material moved containing the larvae can become the source for a new infestation. To help slow the spread of EAB the movement of ash wood is prohibited between Memorial Day and Labor Day. When the adult beetle is no longer actively moving, residents can safely move ash wood within the city limits and quarantine area.
Three drop-off sites are available for people wishing to dispose of ash wood.
27163 471st Avenue
Monday - Friday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 7 a.m. to 12 noon
46868 Sands Street
Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 12 noon
There is no fee for disposal of wood products at these locations. For additional information, call 605-368-2440.
Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill
26674 464th Street
Seasonal hours can be found on the Landfill page.
Cost for disposal of wood products is $10 per ton of debris or $5 per truckload.
Note: The emergency plant pest quarantine imposed last May is still in effect and restricts movement of ash wood outside of Minnehaha County and portions of Lincoln and Turner Counties.
The emerald ash borer is a small beetle that was accidentally introduced from East Asia into the Detroit Michigan metro region sometime during the 1990s. Since that time, it has spread out into 33 states and three Canadian provinces including Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and now South Dakota. The emerald ash borer has killed nearly 100 million ash trees since the beetle was discovered in this country.
The adults are slender, green metallic beetles about ½ inch long. They begin emerging from infested trees and wood in early summer. The adults fly to nearby ash and deposit eggs on the bark. The larvae hatch in about a week or two, burrow into the inner bark of the tree, and begin to feed. The larvae are flat, white (worms) with bell shaped segmented bodies and will reach a length of 1 inch long by fall. The larvae create S-shaped galleries or tunnels just beneath the bark which become packed with a sawdust like material called frass. The galleries cut off the movement of food from the leaves to the roots which results in the trees decline and eventual death. The larvae form a whitish pupa just beneath the bark in the spring and the new formed adult emerges in a few weeks.
Infested trees can survive 1-7 years but typically die after five years of continued attacks.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was detected in South Dakota and confirmed in May 2018. The initial infestation was discovered in the northern portion of the City of Sioux Falls. This is the first detection within the state of South Dakota. For additional information regarding the location of EAB in the state of South Dakota please visit: EAB in SD
There is a state quarantine for Minnehaha, northern Lincoln (north of Hwy 18) and northeastern Turner (north of Hwy 18 and east of Hwy 19) Counties. No ash trees nor any ash brush, logs, or raw wood products such as ash firewood should be moved outside of this area year round. Contact your state (605-353-6700) or federal (605-244-1713) official prior to moving any of the above items. Since firewood is difficult to identify to species, the restriction on firewood pertains to all hardwoods, not just ash.
The answer is yes, unless a tree is periodically treated with an insecticide for the life of the tree. Typically, a community loses all their untreated ash trees within a ten-year period following detection. Tree owners in Sioux Falls who value their ash trees should consider treating their individual trees for this insect and report that treatment to the (211) Helpline Center.
If you live in Sioux Falls there is no need to call the City, Cooperative Extension, or the SD Department of Agriculture to inspect your ash tree. If you want to protect your ash tree from the emerald ash borer, it should be treated. For professional assistance please refer to this list of Licensed Arborists that Treat Trees within the City of Sioux Falls.
The most effective treatments for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) are applied by commercial applicators. They have the equipment needed for proper application and can acquire chemicals with higher concentrations needed to properly treat your tree. Many factors are considered when treating a tree and all can affect how well a tree takes up chemicals used to protect against EAB. To get the most protection it is recommended that you seek assistance from professionals who have been trained to treat trees. These professionals can also offer assistance in determining if you have a tree worth investing treatments in for EAB.
For professional assistance please refer to this list of Licensed Arborists that Treat Trees within the City of Sioux Falls.
Treatment will need to be repeated every 2 years depending on what product is being used and the application method. After the outbreak is over, approximately 10 to 12 years, the period between treatments can lengthen to 4 years or more for the life of the tree. The cost of treating a tree generally ranges from $150 to $350 per treatment for trees between 10 and 25 inches in diameter.
The adult emerald ash borer beetles are attracted to fresh pruning wounds, so do not prune your ash trees between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Ash trees should not be removed during this same time as adult beetles can emerge from logs and brush as it is being transported and spread the infestation. After Labor Day until the following Memorial Day the insect is inside the tree, so ash trees can be pruned and hauled at that time.
All ash wood and brush must remain within the state quarantine area no matter what time of the year it is. Refer to the question “Where can I take my Trees?” for details on drop off locations within the quarantine area.
See how you can help keep the City of Sioux Falls growing by visiting: Sioux Falls RELEAF PROJECT
If you are within the quarantine area no ash trees nor any ash brush, logs, or raw wood products such as ash firewood can be moved outside of this area year round. Contact your state official (605)-773-3796 with questions regarding the quarantine and restrictions. Since firewood is difficult to identify to species, the restriction on firewood pertains to all hardwoods, not just ash.
Tree owners within the quarantine should consider treating their ash trees within the next few years as the insect will spread out beyond the City of Sioux Falls. Now is the time for you, and your community, to prepare for the impending effects of this invasive forest insect.
There is no need to treat your trees nor are there any restrictions on pruning or movement of ash wood. However, ash tree owners may want to inspect their tree for symptoms of the emerald ash borer. Now is the time for you, and your community, to prepare for the arrival of this invasive forest insect.
Infested ash will have sections of their bark shredded off by woodpeckers searching for the larvae. If the bark is pulled off these trees near the woodpecker pecks, there will be S-shaped tunnels, called galleries, on the wood’s surface. These narrow galleries, about 1/8-inch wide, will be packed with sawdust like material called frass. The galleries may contain larvae which are flat, white (worms) with bell shaped, segmented bodies and will reach a length of 1 inch long by fall. Another possible symptom of an infestation is 1/8-inch D-shaped holes along the trunk where the adult beetles have emerged.
If you live in Sioux Falls there is no need to call the City, Cooperative Extension, or the SD Department of Agriculture to inspect your ash tree. If you live outside of the quarantine area and you suspect your tree is infested with the Emerald Ash Borer please contact the SD Department of Agriculture at (605) 773-3796.