Associated Press

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. (AP) – Trees are a big deal in Webster Groves, a St. Louis suburb where tree-lined streets are part of the town’s identity. But the arrival of a notorious pest is forcing the city to remove more than 200 ash trees.

KTVI-TV reports that dozens of trees have already been cut down due to an infestation of the emerald ash borer, a beetle that has slowly made its way south from Michigan and Canada since it was discovered 15 years ago. The beetle’s larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, killing them. It was first spotted in Missouri in 2008.

Webster Groves officials say once a tree is infested it becomes public hazard, with branches that can fall off and damage cars or injure pedestrians.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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