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Hundreds of ash trees being removed after beetle infestation

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  Hundreds of trees throughout the metro are going to continue being cut down or treated Tuesday due to a beetle infestation.

The Emerald Ash Borer is forcing many cities to either treat infested trees or chop them up into firewood.

For instance, Prairie Village is cutting down more than 200 ash trees. Mission Hills is in the process of cutting down more than 160 ash trees and only saving 13.

So far, Kansas City officials have cut down more than 700 ash trees in Jackson, Platte and Clay Counties. Many other cities are also in the process of cutting down infected ash trees.

The Emerald Ash Borer is native to Russia, China and Korea. The tree is metallic green and first came to the U.S. in 2002. It has spread since and recently made its way to Kansas.

The beetle burrows into the ash tree, lays its eggs inside and then lives off the tree’s tissue, which cuts off water to the branches and leaves. When leaves and branches start dying, you can then either treat it with chemicals or chop it down.

Cutting down a tree costs between $500 to $1000 dollars, depending on how big the tree is, treating it is also several hundred dollars.

The advantage to chopping down a tree and planting a different type of tree is you won’t have to worry about the ash borer infecting it again in the future.

Prairie Village plans to save 52 ash trees by treatment, including the three on this street.

As for ash trees on private property, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to either treat or chop down any infected ash tree.