Task Force Projects and Information

This area will be updated frequently with current projects from the Emerald Ash Borer task forces accross NY and information to assist task forces in making local management plans. 

 

Here is a very handy decision guide to help property owners decide what to do with their Ash Trees. Download the PDF here.

 

 

The Ash Mortality "Death Curve" that occurs during an EAB infestation

 

 

 

 

Case Studies of Municipal EAB Management 

 

Many infested and threatened communities in the U. S. and Canada have developed EAB management plans for their ash trees based on management goals, pest conditions, available resources, and public support. Below are the brief descriptions of a few EAB management plans from various communities that might shed some light on what to expect when different management options were adopted under different circumstances. This text comes from the Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan for Pennsylvania Communities Prepared by Houping Liu (hliu@pa.gov), PhD, Forest Entomologist Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Also take a look at the Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan Template.
 
Option A. No Action
 
a. City of Windsor, Ontario, CANADA (2002)EAB was first discovered in July 2002. Unable to take any proactive action at the time due to the lack of knowledge on EAB and its management strategies and faced with a rapid spread of theinfestation, the City chose a reactionary removal of dead and dying trees as its sole course of action. A total of 6,000 hazard public ash trees, representing 9% of the city’s urban tree canopy, were removed and replaced at the cost of $4 million. No attempt was made to remove thousands more dead ash trees in woodland areas. Trees on private property were left to the property owner’s discretion. By 2010, only an estimated 5% of ash trees were still alive, with most infested with EAB. Over one million ash trees are estimated to have died in Windsor and surrounding Essex County, including most of the endangered pumpkin ash (Fraxinus profunda).
 
b. City of Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (2003)
EAB was first discovered in Ann Arbor in 2003. At that point, ash compromised 17% of the city’s tree population. No proactive action was taken in the following couple of years except some concerted tree removal. By 2005, the City had about 10,000 dead or dying ash trees in its parks and right-of-ways. A failed millage ballot worth $4.2 million was proposed in 2005 to fund the tree removal activities. The management approach since then has been focused on tree removal and wood utilization. As a result, the Traverwood library in the City was able to use some EABimpacted ash trees to create flooring and other wood features in its new facility. The infestation has now spread through the City, with few surviving ash trees within its boundary. The city 6 forestry crew has spent the last three years doing nothing but removing ash trees. An estimated 7,000 dead ash trees have been removed from city streets so far, with 3,000 more in parks and natural areas waiting to be removed in the coming years. The total cost is expected to exceed $2 million.
 
Option B. Selective Management 
 
a. City of Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA (2009)
EAB was first discovered in Fort Wayne in 2006. The City of Fort Wayne has approximately 13,500 ash trees along the city streets. Ash trees on both public and private properties provide 25% of the urban canopy. An EAB management plan was developed in 2009 to save about 1,000 ash trees through chemical treatment of imidacloprid through soil (tree with a diameter < 41 cm)  and trunk (tree with a diameter > 41 cm) injection. The city anticipates treating ash trees for the next 15 years with an annual budget of $900,000 that includes tree removal, chemical treatment, and replanting. 
 
b. Village of Northbrook, Cook County, Illinois, USA (2010)
EAB was first confirmed in the Village in May 2010. Ash trees represent about 20% of the village’s 15,130 parkway trees. The Village developed a proactive, multi-faceted management plan in 2010 that includes surveying village owned ash trees, treating a portion with insecticide, and removing and replacing dead or dying trees. About 730 declining ash trees will be removed and replaced, and 268 ash trees will be treated with the insecticide Tree-äge (emamectin benzoate) for the next four years (2011-2014), with a total projected cost of $426,500. See link below for details. (http://www.northbrook.il.us/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=2351)
 
Option C. Preemptive Management
 
a. City of Toledo, Ohio, USA (2004)
Low levels of EAB infestation was first discovered in Toledo in 2004. The City of Toledo had an estimated 9,100 ash trees, accounting for 9% of its urban canopy. Since eradication was the official management strategy for the State of Ohio at the time, the City removed 1,100 trees using federal money in order to create a buffer zone. By 2005, new infestations were found outside the buffer zone and other parts of the state. As a consequence, eradication was officially abandoned as a realistic goal. By 2009, an estimated 2,600 dead or dying ash trees were still standing. No chemical treatment was carried out due to fiscal constraints and high pest populations within the City. Cost for dead tree removal is expected in the coming years.
 
b. City of Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA (2007)
Ash accounted for 15% of the public tree population (approximately 10,000 trees) in Grand Rapids in 2007 when the City made “proactive tree removal on a rotating basis” the primary management action. The ten-year budget for removal and replacement was estimated at $7-12 7 million. However, the arrival of EAB in a high profile area in 2009 shifted the city’s focus to a reactive model until the infestation could be slowed down. About $600,000 have been spent by the City so far to remove and replace ash trees, and to save some of the 6,600 ash trees with several new treatments in city parks and right-of-ways. 
 
Option D. Aggressive Management
 
a. City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (2009)
EAB was first detected in the State of Wisconsin in summer 2008. New infestations found in other communities within the state in the following year prompted the City to adopt a preemptively chemical treatment approach for the management of this pest. All of its 33,000 urban ash trees were to be treated with Tree-äge through the trunk within two years at the cost of $1.6 million. However, saving ash in the long term was considered a lost cause by the City. Therefore, all 33,000 ash trees will eventually be removed and replaced at an annual rate of 5% for the next 20 years. The goal is not to save the ash trees, but rather to maintain a relative percentage of ash in the urban canopy. It is considered as a cost-effective approach by the City when compared to the estimated cost of $25 million to remove and replace all the ash trees.   
  
b. City of London, Ontario, CANADA (2011)
EAB was first discovered in London in 2006. Ash accounted for 5.7% of public tree population (9,938 trees) along streets and in manicured areas of parks. A 15-year EAB management plan was developed in 2011 to treat, remove, and replant affected ash trees through active monitoring and coordination. A total of 384 ash trees were chemically treated with TreeAzin (Azadirachtin) in 2011. Treated trees were selected using the matrix developed to determine the best candidates. Those trees will be treated every two years for the next 15 years, or after the threat of EAB has passed. The rest (9,554 trees) will be removed and replaced over the next 10 years. In addition, approximately 14,450 ash trees from wooded areas within public parks and greenways will also need to be removed to reduce hazard and liability. The total cost of this plan is estimated at $14.3 million over 15 years. See link below for details. (http://www.london.ca/trees_lawns_and_gardens/pdfs/london_eab_final_090711.pdf)
 
 

Grant Assistance for Ash Inventories and EAB Management Strategies

Managing street and park trees for EAB can be expensive for local governments. One service that task forces are providing is by helping their local communities to access grant funds to offset these expenses. Below are a couple of the grants available. Check back for RFPs and more funding opportunities. 

 

1. NYSDEC Community and Urban Forestry Grants

Basic information:

  • NYSDEC awarded nearly $1 million to 66 recipients in 2012
  • Eligible applicants: municipalities, counties, school districts, non-profits
  • “Large cities” (Albany, Buffalo, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, NYC, Rochester, Syracuse, Schenectady, Yonkers): $7,500 - $50,000
  • Small communities: $2,500 - $25,000
  • Grants available for EAB Inventory and EAB Management projects
  • Must have an Ash inventory to qualify for an EAB Management grant
  • 1 proposal per topic per applicant (applicants can submit more than one proposal, ie. One to conduct an inventory and then one to carry out EAB management strategies)
  • Extra application points can come from:
    • Collaboration with local NYSDEC Forester
    • Being a Tree City USA
    • Being a member of the NYS Forestry council or the Economic Development Council
  • No matching funds required for EAB related Inventory or Management Projects

Several communities applied with the goal to “slow the spread” of the emerald ash borer, an invasive pest that has been killing ash trees across New York and neighboring states. These awardees include:

  • County of Onondaga
  • Village of Fayetville

For more information and a link to last year’s RFP, which was due June 12, 2012 visit: http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/5285.html and read this note below from Mary Kramarchyk about the impact of the expanded EAB Quarantine:

 

Your community may seek help and other resources in preparation for the future expansion of the EAB into your community.  DEC's Urban Forestry Grants Round 12 will become available later this spring.  To respond to the possible movement of EAB, you may choose to apply for funding for one of the following projects:  preparedness planning; a tree inventory of community ash or of the entire urban forest; maintenance in the form of removing or identifying priority ash and/or replanting your community forest with species other than ash. 

Questions regarding the current distribution of EAB, management recommendations or community EAB preparedness planning and response planning may be directed to Jerry Carlson,  Forest Health Section at DEC, jacarlso@gw.dec.state.ny.us or Mary Kramarchyk, Urban Forestry Section at DEC, mckramar@gw.dec.state.ny.us.

Watch for the RFP in spring 2013!

 

2. Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

Basic information:

  • USFS awarded $3 million in grants to improve tree canopy, forest cover and ultimately, water quality in six Great Lakes states, including Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois and Indiana.
  • In 2012, The following category of funding was offered:
  • “Mitigate Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Impacts - Ash tree replacement with non-host species in quarantine areas to protect and restore biodiversity and water quality, and to reduce soil erosion and nutrient runoff (esp. phosphorus).”
  • Of the 16 grants awarded, 7 were for EAB related issues, awards ranged from $70,000 - $250,000
  • In NY, the Town of Greece won $77,958 to replant 200 trees.
  • For press release of all awardees, click here: USDA News Release

To see last year’s RFP, click here: FY 2012 Northern Area State and Private Forestry GLRI RFP

Watch for the RFP in spring 2013!

 

Municipal survey for EAB preparedness

 

Here’s an exciting development from Erie County. NYSDEC (Pat Marren and David Paradowski) and the Western NY EAB Task Force have conducted a survey of the communities in Erie County regarding their awareness and preparedness for dealing with an EAB infestation. They are using these survey results to focus and prioritize the activities of the taskforce. Below is a brief summary and the full report can be downloaded here: Erie County EAB Community Survey

Erie County Emerald Ash Borer Community Survey (Summary)

The objectives of the survey were to:

  • Determine if communities have existing plans to manage ash trees, and woody debris and if they desire assistance with developing these plans.
  • Determine the number of communities with tree inventories.
  • Assess municipal managers’ familiarity with the risk posed by EAB.
  • Investigate the existence of a network of volunteers to assist communities with EAB efforts.
  • Assess interest in applying for DEC Urban and Community Forestry Grants.
  • Assess the level of knowledge of current EAB locations in the county.
  • Assess the interest in the Tree City USA® program sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation.

 

Methodology:

A self‐administered mail‐in survey was sent to community leaders of all 44 municipalities (3 cities, 25 towns and 16 villages) in Erie County, New York. Mayors and Supervisors were selected as the primary recipient because there is no standardized organizational hierarchy under which community forestry programs fall. The primary recipient was then directed to have the person responsible for managing the community trees complete the survey. The survey for this study was administered using two mailings and follow‐up telephone calls, e‐mails and faxes.

Community tree managers and public officials from 37 communities responded to the survey for a response rate of 84%. Below are responses to a few of the questions:

Tree Inventories: Only 9 communities responded yes when asked if they have an inventory of public trees. Communities with tree inventories were then asked for more details about the inventory data. Of those with inventories, 5 have inventories of street trees, 1 has an inventory of park trees and 3 have inventories of both street and park trees. Inventory formats ranged from primitive paper records (2 respondents), basic digital record keeping using spreadsheets (4 respondents) and finally to advanced digital record keeping using a Geographic Information System(GIS) (3 respondents). Communities that did not have an inventory of public trees were asked if they needed assistance to conduct one. Of the 28 communities that indicated they had no tree inventory, 17 responded that they would like assistance.

Ash Tree Plans: The survey asked the communities if they had a plan to manage ash trees threatened by EAB infestation. Of the communities responding, 8 indicated that they had an ash tree management plan.

Need for Technical Assistance: The communities were asked if they needed assistance to develop response plans, conduct inventories, train staff, develop grant proposals and select replacement trees. 24 communities indicated that they needed assistance. 10 communities answered no and 3 communities failed to supply a response to this question.

Municipal Manager Familiarity: The communities were asked if their municipal managers were familiar with the risk of EAB. 23 communities answered yes, 11 answered no and 3 communities failed to supply a response to this question.

EAB Proximity: The communities were asked how close they were to a known EAB infestation. 22 respondents indicated that they did not know how close they were.