We encourage all Vermont towns to prepare for and manage the impacts of EAB and the loss of ash trees in our communities. Dead and dying ash trees along the public right-of-way and in public places, such as parks and schools, pose a significant risk to public safety. The loss of ash trees will leave gaps, impacting the ecological, economic, and aesthetic benefits provided by the urban forest. Municipalities will bear the responsibility and costs of removing and/or treating public ash trees, as well as any replanting efforts.
To support your planning efforts, you may want to use our step-by-step EAB Management Worksheet or an existing EAB Preparedness Plan as a template. Here are general steps and associated resources that can help your community reduce the impact of EAB:
- Form an EAB working group of key players in your town such as members from a conservation commission or select board, Forest Pest First Detectors, Master Gardeners, tree wareden, foresters, and other interested, engaged citizens dedicated to natural resource conservation. Define roles and responsibilities within your group. It is a good idea to identify a team leader to help keep the momentum going.
- Determine how close you are to the current Vermont EAB infestation. Check out the most up-to-date map of the infested area.
- Complete an inventory. To plan effectively, know how many ash trees are present and, ideally, their size and condition. There are several ways to inventory.
- Conduct a survey for EAB. A late winter drive or walk may reveal "blonding" in the crown or on the trunk of ash trees. This happens when woodpeckers fleck bark of the tree while searching for EAB and is a good sign of new infestations. Report any suspicious findings here.
- Identify trees treatment and removal. Identify high-value ash trees you’ll want to preserve through chemical treatment as well as trees you are sure will need to be removed. You may be able to complete this step during your inventory work.
- Budget for the future. Consider treatment, removal, and replacement costs. The EAB Cost Calculator or the EAB Management Cost Calculator are excellent resources to assist you. We are in the process of developing a guide to the potential costs of different EAB management strategies. In the meantime, here are rough estimates on costs, based on discussions with VT professional arborists, the experiences of other states, and guidance from the US Forest Service:
- Ash tree removals: $18.33/inch DBH or $155-$3500/tree (many factors determine per tree cost)
- Stump grinding: $6.50/inch DBH or $125-250/tree
- Replacement tree planting: $100-$600/tree (many factors determine planting cost)
- Insecticide treatment: $3 - $13/DBH inch every other year (lower cost estimates if application is done by someone on town staff that is a certified pesticide applicator)
- Don’t plant ash. Every ash you plant now will need to be treated or removed when EAB arrives in your town.
- Hold a public education program in your town. Everyone will be affected when EAB arrives. People should know what to expect and what options are available. VT UCF can help you coordinate a public meeting; program staff or partnering organizations may be available to present a program in your town.
- Hold a field training exercise. Involve town staff as well as others who are interested. Go over ash identification and signs of EAB, especially "blonding" caused by woodpecker activity.
- Visit VTinvasives.org to learn more about EAB and how to get involved.
Resources to Assist You:
- Emerald Ash Borer Management Worksheet for Vermont Municipalities
- Managing Emerald Ash Borer in Your Municipality: FAQs
- Vermont Forest Pest Planning Case Studies
- Homeowners Guide to Emerald Ash Borer
- Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer with Insecticide Treatments
- Vermont Agency of Agriculture's Certified Pesticide Applicator Database
- FAQs on the Potential Side Effects of Systemic Insecticides
- Urban Wood Utilization
- EAB University: free webinars on all-things-EAB
Resources from other states
For assistance with roadside ash inventory and mapping, plan editing and review, and outreach and education contact Elise Schadler at email@example.com or (802) 522.6015