Emerald Ash Borer
About Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
EAB is an invasive insect from Asia. The larvae eat the wood under the ash tree’s bark, preventing the tree from moving water and nutrients between its roots and leaves -- killing it within two to four years. EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees in North America since its discovery in 2002.
Emerald Ash Borer infestation has now reached several places Iowa. Within the year, urban forestry professionals expect to find more trees infested with EAB. Declining and dying trees may not be widespread for many years. If you have an ash tree, you should consider removal and replacement with a different tree or preventative treatment. We hope to connect residents with information so they can make informed decisions regarding ash trees on their property.
The Solid Waste Agency accepts emerald ash borer infected wood. It should be taken to the Agency’s compost facility, 2250 A Street SW, Cedar Rapids. Regular yard waste fees apply
1. Chemical Treatment
The economics of treating ash trees is not black and white. Residents have several factors to consider:
- Cost of the insecticide and treatment by commercial pesticide applicator (highly recommend multiple bids)
- Commitment to treat the tree for several years (possibly for the life of the tree)
- Size and existing condition of tree
- Likelihood of success
- Potential expense of removing and replacing tree if treatment fails
- Benefits of your existing tree (learn how to calculate)
2. Tree Removal
If you need to remove your ash tree due to EAB (or any tree in general decline), the Better Business Bureau provides tips for hiring a contractor to remove a tree. Don't be pressured into making a decision. If they are knocking on your door wanting an immediate answer, thank them for their time and tell them you will keep their information. You have time to get additional quotes and make a wise decision.
Beware of a Company
- With no printed materials, letterhead, bid forms or local address.
- Is vague about credentials as an arborist.
- Offers an unusually low price (because they'll find ways to add to the initial bid).
- Pressures you for an immediate decision.
- Learn more tips from the BBB (such as, check with your insurance company, get three bids, verify license, look for trade membership and only pay them when job is complete.
Replanting for Tree Diversity
Some may choose to plant a new tree near the tree they expect to lose. Or they may choose to remove the tree and then replant. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers information on the types of trees to plant to create diversity in your neighborhood.
How EAB Affects Firewood & Lumber
A statewide quarantine is now in place due to EAB. For residents, if your ash tree is cut down and you plan to use it for firewood, please burn it on site or within your county. All unprocessed ash, such as hardwood firewood, wood chips, ash logs and ash trees for planting, are not permitted to leave the quarantine area. Do not transport the firewood to other areas. Moving it outside Iowa to uninfested states is illegal. Learn more at IowaTreePests.com.