You don't see orange and pink paint on Aberdeen trees as much as you used to.
Dutch elm disease in Aberdeen hit its peak in 2004, when the city marked 1,200 trees on public and private property.
Last year, the number dropped to 80, and this year, the city has marked 47 trees with paint to designate that the trees are infected with the disease.
The number of American elms in Aberdeen is now limited, and the ones remaining are farther apart, which has reduced the spread of Dutch elm.
Aside from Dutch elm, the city is still removing trees, city forester Aaron Kiesz told the Aberdeen Park and Recreation board Wednesday. Workers have removed 75 dead and hazardous trees from public and private property.
Also during his report, Kiesz said the city planted around 500 trees this spring.
Because this has been a dry summer, keeping those trees watered has been a full-time job. A seasonal employee spent his whole summer watering trees that were planted this year and last, Kiesz said.
Kiesz also reported that concrete edging was placed around the Kuhnert Arboretum rose beds on Saturday.
While Dutch elm isn't the concern it used to be, worries about the Emerald ash borer are still ahead. The closest area infected by the Emerald ash borer is Minneapolis. Recently, the invasive insect was discovered in Wyandotte County, Kan.
It's just a matter of time until the Emerald ash borer makes it to South Dakota.
“It could be 30 years. It could be two years. We just don't know,” Kiesz said of the beetle, which is transmitted via infested firewood.
South Dakota has more ash trees than any other state, so the Emerald ash borer will take its biggest toll on South Dakota, Kiesz said in an interview.
Also during the meeting, Park Superintendent Mark Hoven reported on park improvements. In that report, he said 12 horseshoe courts have been removed from the Swartwout Horseshoe Courts on South Dakota Street. Six courts remain.
The meeting also included a dance program report. The Parks and Recreation Department is offering 100 classes, said David Eckert, supervisor of the Aberdeen Recreation and Cultural Center. As of Friday, 620 dance students had enrolled. Last year, the number peaked at around 750 in October.
Eckert said the Tap Kids will perform Sept. 29 as part of the Dance Network of South Dakota conference, which runs Sept. 28-30 at the ARCC. Members of the company will teach during the conference as well as perform. The department hopes that 200 to 250 dancers will attend the workshop.
Doug Johnson, director of parks, recreation and forestry, said the Wylie Park campground has had a good summer. Revenues are about $22,000 greater than last year. Golf revenues are also up, he said.