In August of 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer in Kansas City, Kansas. The infected ash tree was located at Wyandotte County Lake. The emerald ash borer will feed on and kill ash trees. It will not harm people, pets, or animals.
Research conducted by Purdue University reveals that once the Emerald Ash Borer is found in a community that the numbers of untreated ash trees infected with the emerald ash borer double every year. It is estimated that by 2020, all untreated ash trees in Wyandotte County will be infected by the emerald ash borer.
There are numerous options available to private property owners who own ash trees on their properties. The alternatives for the cutting, transporting, and disposing of dead trees will need to be chosen by the owners. As the emerald ash borer impacts more ash trees the management options for private property owners include:
Do Nothing to Dead Ash Trees:
Private property owners may choose to do nothing about ash trees dying. This option poses liability, safety, and utility line risks as well as financial and environmental impacts. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas is responsible through its local ordinances to address problems with dead trees on private property in Kansas City, Kansas through the Unified Government’s Code Enforcement Department.
Do Nothing to Dead Ash Trees in Wooded, Natural Areas:
Private property owners may choose to let ash trees that die in natural, wooded areas alone so that nature will take care of them. Some surveying may be necessary to identify dead ash trees that may pose a dangerous liability risk for private property owners.
Chemical Treatment of Ash Trees:
Private property owners may choose for chemical treatment of their ash trees. Factors that should be considered include the cost of the insecticide and expense of application, the size of the trees, the likelihood of success, and potential costs of removing and replacing the trees.
Cut Down Ash Trees and Replant Another Tree:
Private property owners may choose to cut down their ash tree and to replant a different tree. The private property owner would need to cut, transport, and dispose of the ash tree. In replacing dead ash trees, it is recommended that a variety of tree species be planted. See tree guide.
Cut Ash Trees and Do Not Replant:
Private property owners may choose to cut down ash trees with no replacement tree planted. The private property owner would need to cut, transport, and dispose of the ash tree. A reduction of the urban forest by not replacing ash trees would mean increased stormwater runoff; increased water consumption; increased heating & cooling costs created from an increased heat island effect; property value reduction; and a loss of neighborhood character. Many Benefits Trees Provide