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Muscatine County forced to remove dying courthouse trees

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Emerald Ash Borer photo from

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — The landscape around the Muscatine County Courthouse will change when nine large ash trees are removed because of damage caused by the emerald ash borer.

The Muscatine Journal reports county officials decided to remove the trees after they were inspected by an expert because they could be a safety hazard. Damage caused by the beetle kills the trees and will leave the limbs brittle and ready to fall.

County budget administrator Sherry Seright says the damage is worse than officials realized.

Initially, the county had planned to remove only four trees, but the emerald ash borer had already spread to the others.

The affected ash trees will be removed before winter and officials will start looking at what kind of trees should be planted in their place.