(KMOV)-- "We don't know when it's coming but we're trying to get ready," Arch Superintendent Tom Bradley told me Thursday.
He says it could be three to five years before the emerald ash borer shows up in St. Louis to feed off of and ultimately destroy the hundreds of ash trees on the Arch grounds and elsewhere.
"We're going to wait until the emerald ash borer gets close, then we're going to move," says Bradley.
Research is underway right now to figure out the best type of tree to replace the ash trees which have been around the Arch for 40 years.. They have to settle on something that's compatible with the soil at the Arch grounds.
The idea is to do the replacement before the borer arrives, typically through the moving of firewood.
"One of the things we can consider is if it does come and we're not quite ready we can treat it chemically to hold things off until we're ready to do a replacement. As you can imagine tree replacement on the grounds will be pretty traumatic and we want to do it as softly as we can so it's not so disruptive."
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV.