- Associated Press - Friday, May 18, 2018

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - With an infestation of emerald ash borer insects almost a certainty at some point, Aberdeen is implementing a plan to remove ash trees from public rights of way.

The city’s goal is to remove 5 percent of ash trees annually, starting this year. That’s about 240 trees per year replaced with a different species. Residents also are urged to remove declining ash trees on private property.

The invasive insect has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 32 states. South Dakota’s Agriculture Department this month confirmed its presence in the state for the first time, in Sioux Falls.

Pierre officials are reviewing their response plan but aren’t immediately planning to remove trees. Yankton officials plan to discuss the prospect of incentive programs to help residents with removal and replacement expenses.

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