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Emerald Ash Borer Management Statement – Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation

Belvedere Dr., Toledo, OH. Left: Before EAB June 2006 | Right: Peak EAB June 2009

Emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees since its discovery in 2002 and the number of dead ash is increasing rapidly. Ash species are abundant in planted and natural areas of urban forests, representing 10 – 40% of the canopy cover in many communities.

Ash trees provide substantial economic and ecosystem benefits to taxpayers, ranging from increased property value, to storm water mitigation, to decreased energy demands (http://www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm).

Consequently, widespread ash mortality in urban forests and residential landscapes is having devastating economic and environmental impacts. Indeed, EAB is predicted to cause an unprecedented $10-20 billion in losses to urban forests over the next 10 years. (http://ncrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/jrnl/2010/nrs_2010_kovacs_001.pdf)

After its initial discovery, regulatory agencies attempted to eradicate EAB through removal and destruction of all ash trees in infested areas. Unfortunately, this proved unsuccessful and was soon abandoned.

Since then, university scientists have developed and refined treatment protocols that can protect healthy ash trees from EAB and help conserve the urban forest.

Urban ash conservation can be less costly than removal, especially when the significant environmental and economic benefits of established trees are considered. Furthermore, ash conservation can circumvent the substantial environmental impacts caused by wholesale deforestation of the urban landscape, as well as the documented public safety risks associated with standing dead ash trees and their removal…

Read full document here Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation

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