Emerald Ash Borer Information

ash tree in foreground with metal tag affixed to trunk

The City of Kansas City, Missouri, has affixed a metal tag with a number on each ash street tree in our neighborhood to keep track of the tree’s condition. Look for tags at eye level facing the street.

What is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer — an invasive beetle deadly to all types of ash trees — is spreading across the United States. It destroys the tissue that provides water and nutrient uptake, causing terminal decline, usually from the top branches of the tree canopy on down. The emerald ash borer is active in both Kansas and Missouri, including in the Ward Parkway Homes Association.

FAQs about emerald ash borer (KCMO website)

Emerald ash borer program information 2018 (KCMO)

Where are ash trees in our neighborhood?

As of December 2016, there were approximately 154 city-owned ash street trees in the WPHA. Streets that are heavily planted with ash trees include:

  • 71st Terrace (east of Ward Parkway)
  • 74th Street (east of Ward Parkway)
  • Belleview Avenue (7200, 7300, 7400 blocks)
  • Jarboe Street (7200 and 7400 blocks)
  • Pennsylvania Street (7200 and 7400 blocks)
  • Summit Street (7100, 7300, 7400 blocks)

The number of privately owned ash trees on properties in our neighborhood is unknown.

What is the city doing to combat emerald ash borer?

In 2015, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, contracted with a local company to inject all of the city-owned ash trees (in public areas and between the sidewalks and street) in our neighborhood with a two-year control systemic insecticide. All of the ash street trees were marked with a numbered metal tag placed at roughly eye level, facing the street.

In the fall of 2016 the city forester evaluated our neighborhood’s ash trees and graded them good, fair or poor, based of the quality of the tree canopy. The trees judged “poor” have been or are currently slated for removal. Those trees judged to be in “good” condition will be treated again with the systemic insecticide.

Street trees judged “fair” or “poor” on city property will be replaced at no cost to the homeowner — with small specimens from an approved list — by the nonprofit Heartland Tree Alliance. Need advice on how to care for replacement trees? Contact WPHA resident Mike Allmon of Complete Turf & Landscape at mike@completelandscapekc.com or 816-444-5774.

Look up condition of ash street trees in the WPHA (Excel file)

What should I do about ash trees on my private property?

The city has no plans for injecting or inspecting ash trees located on private property, such as your backyard. Now is the time to assess your situation and determine the best course of action.

  1. Identify any ash trees on your property.
    • Need help identifying or inspecting privately owned ash trees? Contact Mike Allmon of Complete Turf & Landscape at mike@completelandscapekc.com or 816-444-5774.
  2. Closely monitor ash trees for signs of emerald ash borer infestation to avoid personal injury or significant property damage as infected trees deteriorate.
  3. Decide whether to try and save your ash trees or remove them altogether. If you begin treatment, be prepared to continue treating a tree for the duration of its life.

Emerald ash borer management for homeowners (University of Missouri Extension)

What can the neighborhood do?

The city has advised homes associations to group together to seek discounted pricing for treatment of ash trees on private property at the same contract rate from the current city contractor. Depending on tree size, the cost would between $40 and $60 per tree for a two-year control.

The city also recommends that homes associations request group pricing for ash removal from a local company. This is advantageous, as we would be locked in at a discounted rate, and they would commit to removals on a timely basis, which may be challenging when mass removals are required on a city-wide basis.