Learn More About the Emerald Ash Borer

The City adopted an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan in February 2007 as required through its participation in the Tree City USA program.

By implementing the provisions in the management plan, the City is attempting to mitigate the disruption of its urban forest caused by the pending infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer. Taking a proactive approach to this problem will enable the City to minimize the risk to public safety while addressing public and private needs in an efficient and effective manner. The City will endeavor to distribute the costs associated with certain and massive tree death over a manageable time period as well as lessen the social and economic impact that such an extensive loss will have on quality of life in our community.

Approximately 10% of all trees within our community are ash trees and susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer. At this time, chemicals can be used that often delay the impact of the EAB and save some trees but there is no sure treatment available. It is likely that every ash tree in the city will eventually die from the effects of the EAB.

This Plan Addresses:

  • The creation of a tree Inventory
  • Methods to detect the arrival of the EAB
  • Methods to delay the spread of the EAB
  • Methods to minimize the aesthetic and environmental impacts of the EAB
  • Methods to minimize the financial impact to the City and our residents
  • Methods of educating the public about threat, spread and response to the EAB

This plan applies throughout the City on all public properties where ash trees are currently growing as well as private properties where such trees may negatively impact public rights-of-way or other public properties.

The City Manager is responsible for the implementation of this plan and has directed the Parks and Recreation department to see that the provisions are carried out.

Plan Phases

1. Tree Inventory

An inventory shall be created which will determine size and type of all trees within the community according to the priorities listed below. Condition of the tree should be noted. The inventory should include tree species and diameter.

  • Use of GPS is ideal if possible
  • Medians
  • Rights of Way
  • Parks
  • Non-Parks City Owned Property
  • Non-City Owned Public Property

2. Detecting Arrival of EAB

The City shall contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture to determine location of existing detection trees and work with them to establish additional detection trees. Detection trees should be located at the rate of at least one per square mile within all areas of the community.

Any ash tree determined to be of suspicious health through the tree inventory process, should be examined immediately by an expert. Ash trees are subject to infestation by other borers besides the EAB.
Information shall be placed in the City newsletter and local newspapers advising the public as to how to identify an ash tree and what to look for regarding infestation.- (D shaped exit holes, top – down die off etc). This information will also be available through the City’s website. (see item #6)
All possible sources of artificial EAB importation into the community such as nearby campgrounds, nurseries, firewood dealers, firewood piles, yard debris centers shall be inspected for EAB infestation on a quarterly basis.
Based on tree inventory information, the City will quarterly inspect, especially important tree locations, for outward signs of EAB infestation

3. Methods to delay the spread of EAB

If an EAB infestation is discovered, a thorough survey of the surrounding area will be made and acted upon. All ash wood from pruning or removal will be inspected for EAB by looking for D-Shaped exit holes and removing bark to find larvae galleries. Any wood from a contaminated tree shall be disposed of in such a way as to prevent the spread of live larvae. Chemical treatment may be applied to critical trees in the vicinity or non-infested trees may be removed to avoid a future dangerous situation.

Infested trees should be removed as quickly as possible when infestation is found between May and September.

Information will be published and circulated in the community advising residents as to what has been found and how they can address the problem on their property. See item 6

All ash materials shall be disposed of in accordance with state guidelines.  The City may order the removal of infested trees which are located on private property in accordance with Ordinance #93.01.

4. Methods to minimize the aesthetic and environmental impact on the community

Upon the completion of the tree inventory, the City will establish a specific plan to address every group of trees within the community. The following priorities shall be followed:

  • Trees in Medians
    • (See replacement plan)
  • Trees in Rights of Way
    • (See replacement plan)
  • Trees in Parks
    • Trees in parks area which are frequented by the public should be replaced for safety purposes. This also applies to non-park city owned properties. Trees in heavily forested areas can simply be allowed to die in place and decay through normal processes. Cities should notify other public agencies which own land containing ash trees and request their cooperation in a similar manner.

Replacement Plan:
As the budget permits, all public ash trees will be replaced with non-host species that will enhance the planting site, are appropriate for the planting site and add to the diversity and health of the urban forest. Tree removal will be prioritized with potentially hazardous trees being removed first followed by all those which show signs of infestation.

Planting programs will be budget-based and prioritized by the City Manager to reach determined goals. No plantings will be made that cannot be maintained. All new plantings will conform to the 10-20-30 tree species diversity rule.

Environmental side effects- While the environmental impact of tree loss on the micro-environment is obvious, it is important to address the overall impact on the community in areas like storm water run off and the increase in local temperature levels due to the loss of trees. For this reason, it is important the City pursue aggressive mixed species tree planting programs as soon as possible in appropriate locations so as to mitigate the impact of extensive tree loss before it begins.

5. Methods to minimize the financial impact on the community

Trees which are removed can potentially be sold for lumber value. This should be pursued where possible and where tree replacement is feasible.

Develop a Citizen Information Package (see section 6) to explain public actions and recommend private procedures.

Recruit citizens to be trained to monitor Ash locations.

Monitor designated trees on a quarterly basis to detect infestation as soon as possible.

The City shall encourage residents to monitor the health of ash trees located on private property.

The City shall provide information about EAB infestation on the City website and update that information on a regular basis.

Joint Purchasing-The City will attempt to work with the Miami Valley Communications Council or other groups who are pursuing collective contracts for the tree removal, chemical purchases, tree replacement and wood disposal. Joint disposal efforts involving multiple jurisdictions should also be explored.

The City shall arrange for a sufficient number of employees to be come trained and/or licensed to apply chemicals to trees on City Property.

Tree Protection Plan: Upon completion of the tree inventory, the city shall adopt a tree by tree protection plan including:

  • Chemical treatment to extend tree life
  • Tree removal
    • Utility companies should be asked to remove rather than trim Ash trees
    • Street programs involving tree removal should automatically remove Ash trees regardless of size or location.
  • Tree replacement shall begin as soon as possible so that to permit the use of smaller replacement trees.
  • The Planning Commission shall not allow the use of Ash Trees to be a part of any landscaping plan which is subject to their review.

6. Public Education

A. The City shall participate with the Miami Valley Communications Council who will create a “Hot Topics Program” in 2007. This will be at least a half hour program interviewing local officials about the status of the EAB program in the Miami Valley. This program will be run on MVCC channels and other channels where available.

B .Information will be prepared for city newsletters and press releases about the adoption of the EAB plan and its importance to residents. Said release will also tell citizens what to look for, who to contact if they think they have an infestation and general guidelines about transporting firewood.

1) This plan assumes that until further research develops a treatment process, all Ash trees in the State of Ohio will die from the Emerald Ash Borers. The plan assumes that the life of an Ash tree can be extended through the use of chemical treatment, which is best applied in late May.

2) There is a great deal of good information available about the infestation and that information is available through www.emeraldashborer.info/index.cfm