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)
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:
The number of privately owned ash trees on properties in our neighborhood is unknown.
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 email@example.com or 816-444-5774.
Look up condition of ash street trees in the WPHA (Excel file)
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.
Emerald ash borer management for homeowners (University of Missouri Extension)
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.