Ash Tree Removal and EAB

Background

The Ballwin Public Works Department and Parks & Recreation Department in conjunction with the Mayor and Board of Alderman, have adopted an aggressive approach to handling our city’s overabundance of ash trees that is under threat from the worst forest pest ever known to North America. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle from Asia that was discovered in Detroit in 2002 and has since killed tens of millions of ash throughout the Eastern United States and Canada.

The Emerald Ash Borer was recently confirmed in two separate locations in Ballwin and we believe the infestation has been present for a number of years. The City recently performed a complete street tree inventory and it was found that 25% of our street trees are ash and are susceptible to EAB. Unfortunately the distribution of ash trees is not uniform throughout the City. Some neighborhoods and streets measured between 70 and 80% ash which is extremely high.

The effects of EAB in Ballwin will be severe. We estimate that in the next 10 years every untreated ash tree, both public and private, will succumb to this tiny beetle.

Ballwin’s Plan

Ballwin’s aggressive approach has been developed with the most up-to-date information available in the industry. Due to their current health conditions, the city has decided to remove our 2,000 ash trees over the next five to seven years. We will begin with those neighborhoods with ash trees in poor condition. It is imperative that we are proactive and aggressive in our approach dealing with EAB for several reasons; public safety being the most important of all. If Ballwin waits to begin removing ash trees it’s likely that EAB will overwhelm available resources resulting in standing dead trees over our roads and sidewalks.

The plan is to begin in specific neighborhoods identified by our staff as being priority removal areas. We will mark trees for removal at least one week prior to work beginning, giving each homeowner an opportunity to seek information from the city if so desired. If your tree does not have an orange dot it is not slated for removal at this time. If your tree with an orange dot is not removed at the same time as others on your street, it’s likely that the felling arborist identified a need for additional equipment to remove the tree safely. The tree will be removed as equipment becomes available. The stumps will also be removed. If you believe your ash street tree is worth saving contact our staff who will work directly with you regarding your options, one of which being chemical treatment at the homeowner’s expense.

Trees are trimmed and removed by the Public Works Department, stumps are removed by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Tree Planting Program

The City of Ballwin is pleased to offer a cost share program to encourage the planting of trees in our neighborhoods to provide beauty and environmental benefits. Residents may apply to the city for up to a $100 reimbursement after planting a tree in the front yard of their home or the area between the street and sidewalk in front of their home, provided the area and the tree meet the appropriate criteria. Download the Residential Street Tree Program Application to learn more. Please contact the Ballwin Parks and Recreation Department for more information about the tree cost share program at 636-227-8950.

Ash Wood

Beginning October 1, 2016 waste wood from removed Ash trees will be made available to the public free of charge, on a first-come, first-serve basis in the parking lot of The Pointe at Ballwin Commons, #1 Ballwin Commons Circle, Ballwin MO  63021.  The US Forest Service has recommended that untreated firewood should not be moved until it is sufficiently dry and will not support the growth stages of the beetle. (EAB)

More information about Emerald Ash Borer can be found at the links below:

http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/your-trees-and-woods/tree-diseases-and-pests/emerald-ash-borer-management

http://extension.missouri.edu/treepests/emeraldashborer.aspx

 

Still have questions about trees in Ballwin? Contact the Ballwin Public Works Department at 636-227-9000.