Potentially, the damage caused to our community forests could rival any forest pest that Iowa has seen in the past including Dutch elm disease. Ash trees are a common and important component of Iowa's urban and community forests. Current street tree inventories have found communities with 10% ash and other communities in excess of 50% ash. Keep in mind, these are street trees. Take a moment and think of all the ash in your yard, parks, and woodlands.
It is expected that EAB will eventually make it to every community in Iowa. However, with proper management practices many communities can prepare well in advance for the arrival of EAB and reduce the overall costs. There isn't any government funding source to pay local costs for EAB management. For these reasons, municipalities and homeowners are strongly advised to actively prepare for the insect's arrival, including development of a funded management plan. The average homeowner with a 30 inch diameter tree can expect to pay an average of $1,200.00 to remove the tree, $150.00 to replace the tree, or an annual insecticide treatment cost averaging $250.00 per year for the rest of the trees life.
For Communities, a very important aspect of planning is determining how infested wood will be handled when EAB arrives, keeping in mind that quarantines will restrict its movement. Who will cut and haul the dead and dying trees? Is there an accessible, secured site big enough to store and sort hundreds to thousands of trees and the associated brush and chips? How will wood be disposed of or utilized? Do you have equipment capable of handling the amount and size of ash trees your tree inventory has identified? Disposal costs can be reduced with advance planning. Don't wait until EAB arrives to investigate options!
For urban forestry help please contact:
State Urban Forester, Forestry Bureau
Iowa Dept. Natural Resources
502 East 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319