Meet the emerald ash borer, a tiny green beetle that has killed millions of ash trees throughout the northeastern United States and hundreds right here in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This invasive insect entered Wisconsin in 2008 and arrived in Oshkosh by 2016.
Nearly 600 ash trees have already been removed from the City of Oshkosh terraces and public spaces after dying from emerald ash borer larvae tunneling under their bark to feed on the part of the tree that moves water and sugars up and down the trunk. Another 900 trees on terraces and public property are at risk and will need to be removed.
The City of Oshkosh is partnering with the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation to raise money through the Taking Root II campaign to replace diseased ash trees. It is estimated that each new tree will cost $400, including planting services. Plans are to plant and replace as many trees as funding will allow.
Trees of various species will be planted on terraces throughout Oshkosh by the City of Oshkosh Landscape Operations Division. Among many benefits, these trees will help reduce air pollution, reduce storm water runoff, enhance property values, provide wildlife habitat, and improve health and well-being.
“This campaign isn’t just devoted to replacing lost trees; it’s about improving the quality of life in Oshkosh. We have set a goal to raise $300,000 this year and have currently raised about $60,000. We continue to seek the community’s support for this vital project,” says Bill Wyman, President/CEO of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.
Donate now to the Taking Root II campaign. The first $100,000 in donations made before December 31, 2022, will be matched by the JEK Foundation, continuing the legacy of John E. Kuenzl. Gifts of cash or check can be mailed or delivered to the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, 230 Ohio Street Suite 100, Oshkosh, WI 54902.
Terrace tree planting can be done at no cost to property owners. To request to be placed on the terrace tree planting list, please contact Travis Derks at [email protected], please put Ash Replacement in the subject line, or (920) 236-5080. Please state the address where the tree is requested.