Soon property owners will see city workers marking ash trees along the right-of-way on city streets. It’s part of the Yankton Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Response Plan.

“Last fall, 30 ash trees were taken down,” Lisa Kortan said.  She is Yankton’s Urban Forestry Specialist. “A blue ‘X’ on the street tree means it will come down at no cost to the property owner and stumps will be removed.”

City workers will place a door knocker on the home owner’s door. Property owner will have choices about the tree if wanted. After 4-6 weeks and no response from the property owner, we remove the tree.” City website,, has contact information for the owner, or call City Hall at (605) 668-5221.

“So far, two trees were not removed because the homeowner will treat the tree. A follow-through agreement is signed,” she said.

“City of Yankton found funds to assist property owners as they replace right-of-way ash trees that the city removes,” Kortan said. “Assistance is limited to two trees per residence, with $100 maximum for one or two trees, with a sales receipt.”

The city website has updated tree planting permit information. An updated tree list by tree size to choose the tree is on the city website. Native trees or their cultivars and naturalized trees of the region are included.

“We’ll check to make sure the location for the replacement tree and tree species is correct,” Kortan said. “Because maple trees have been over planted, please consider other trees.”

“If you want to look at the tree shape and size and bark, leaves and seed pods and how the trees are growing in this region, talk a walk in the Yankton Arboretum,” she said.

The labeled trees are located on the walking trail behind Yankton High School, with many kinds of trees, including ash, to view their growing habit.

“We’re fortunate that our city officials value tree replacement,” Kortan said. “While we take the trees down, this is a program to replant. The budget allows for a hundred recipients a year for this replacement incentive, so the cost is spread out over time.

“I won’t have any say over replacement trees in private lots,” Kortan said.

The tree list on the city website and observing the trees growing in the Yankton Arboretum may be of value as property owners make decisions about their ash trees.

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