Emerald Ash Borer FAQs

Posted May 1st, 2014 @ 7:12 AM by

Treatment, tree removal, tree replacement – will your tree be a casualty of the yellow dots and emerald bugs?

TREATMENT
1. How many street trees are on City of Madison terraces?
A: There are approximately 96,000 street trees.

2. How many street trees are Ash trees?
A: Approximately 21,000 street trees are Ash trees.

3. How many Ash terrace trees will be treated and how many will be removed?
A: Our goal is to treat all treatable ash street trees at least once, if not twice by 2016. In total, we are treating about 12,500 healthy terrace ash trees and removing about 8,500 that are under 10” dbh, in poor condition and or under high voltage power lines. Trees must be treated every two years to be fully protected.

4. Which trees will get treated first?
A: Forestry Staff will begin treatments in known EAB infestations areas on the northeast side of Madison and work outward to surrounding forestry maintenance districts.

5. What are my treatment options?
A: The City Forestry Section will determine if the city owned terrace ash tree will be treated or removed. If you have an ash tree on your private property, refer to our website for management options. http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB/management.cfm

6. Which product will be used to treat the city owned terrace tree?
A: The City of Madison has selected Emamectin benzoate to be used in the treatment of city owned ash trees. Emamectin benzoate is injected into a tree’s vascular system. It is not sprayed on the bark or leaves. Animals (e.g. birds, chipmunks) and other insects (e.g. butterflies) that simply land on a treated tree but do not feed on the tree will not be affected by the insecticide.

7. What if I don’t want my terrace tree treated?
A: The City Forestry Section will remove the city owned terrace ash tree if the property owner doesn’t want the tree treated.

8. Can I treat my own terrace tree?
A: No, only City Staff can treat city owned terrace trees. Residents will not be allowed to treat or hire a contractor to treat city owned terrace trees.

9. Will the City treat my private tree?
A: No, the City Forestry Section will only treat city owned trees. We recommend you contact a private certified arborist at your own expense.

10. What are my treatment options for my private ash tree?
A: Please refer to our website for treatment options. The City Forestry Section recommends tree trunk injection method due to potential water quality or contamination issues with soil drench methods.
http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB/management.cfm

11. What is the range of cost to treat ash trees for EAB if I hire a private licensed certified arborist ?
A: Price range by private contractor runs about $10-$15 per diameter breast inch (dbh) we have a list of City licensed contractors on our Forestry page and in our Adopt a Parks Tree information http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB

12. Should I treat my ash before it gets EAB or can I wait?
A: Since EAB has been found in Madison we recommend researching the “Management Options” section of our website to help in your decision. Trees that have up to 30% decline can be treated for EAB. Scientists have learned that ash trees with low densities of EAB often have few or no external symptoms of infestation. Therefore since EAB has been found in Madison, your ash trees are at risk.
http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB/management.cfm

13. Why aren’t trees under high voltage power lines being treated?
A: The trees that will be removed under high power utility lines have met the Forestry Section criteria of poor condition, such as more than 30% decline, reduced canopy due to heavy pruning, trunk wounds or storm damage. The condition will likely become much worse as MG&E prunes more aggressively.
The recommendation was made by the EAB taskforce and approved by Council, to remove these types of trees and begin replanting the urban forest by planting the right tree in the right place. One that won’t grow to interfere with power lines and be subject to this type of aggressive crown removal as it matures.
Forestry Staff encourage citizens who would like to save ash trees to consider three specific actions. 1) Consider those ash trees in good condition on their property outside of the terrace 2) Consider adopting a healthy park tree for chemical treatment 3) Consider giving to the Madison Parks Foundation’s replanting fund which will help us replant trees in the Parks after the ash are removed.

14. What if my tree is deemed “poor” by City Forestry – can I pay to have it treated?
A: City Forestry staff assessed the tree and it has met the criteria of poor condition. Poor condition trees are trees that are already have significant decline or a physical damage (trunk wound/ bark missing). These ash trees would not effectively absorb the chemical treatment. Only City of Madison park trees can be adopted by residents.

TREE REMOVAL

1. Why is there a yellow dot on my tree?
A: The yellow removal dot has been protocol in City of Madison Forestry for over 30 years. The mark signifies the street tree needs to be removed, whether it’s an ash, maple, oak or any other tree species. The yellow dot mark is not specific to just EAB removals.

2. How many Ash terrace trees will be treated and how many will be removed?
A: Our goal is to treat all treatable ash street trees at least once, if not twice by 2016. In total, we are treating about 12,500 healthy terrace ash trees and removing about 8,500 that are under 10” dbh, in poor condition and or under high voltage power lines. Trees must be treated every two years to be fully protected.

3. Will all ash trees growing under or near power lines be removed? What about the trees that just have phone or cable lines located in the tree canopy?
The City of Madison will pre emptively remove ash in terrace location that are growing under high voltage ( > 1Kv ) transmission lines where the canopy of the tree has been heavily pruned in the past to maintain clearance away from the power lines. Trees that will be removed typically have been pruned into a ‘V’ shape or are flat topped or one sided. Trees that only have low voltage power, phone, or cable lines will be treated as long as the trees are >10” diameter and are in good condition.

4. Will the City remove my private tree for free?
A: No, City of Madison Forestry can only prune or remove city owned trees. We recommend you contact a private certified arborist at your own expense. We suggest you get a least 3 different bids. For more info, see websites below. http://www.emeraldashborer.info/hiringtreeco.cfm#sthash.KCrRjK4u.dpbs
http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB/management.cfm

5. Why does it have to be removed now, can’t we wait until its dead?
A: Ash trees become very brittle as they decline and quickly become a public safety hazard. This also makes them more susceptible to storm damage.

6. Am I responsible for removing my private tree with EAB?
A: Yes, the property owner is responsible for trees on their private property.

7. Should I remove my private ash tree now?
A: This is a personal choice. We recommend researching the “Management Options” section of our website to help in your decision.
http://www.cityofmadison.com/parks/services/forestry/pests/EAB/management.cfm

8. I received a notice that the tree on the terrace will be taken down, will I be notified again before my tree is removed?
A: No, the door tag will be the only notice you will receive about the removal of the tree.

9. Will the City remove the stump of the terrace?
A: City Forestry will notify the Street Division of the stump on the terrace to be grubbed. The Street Division grubs stumps May thru October. Forestry removes street trees 12 month a year, so there will be a delay between the time the tree is removed and the time the stump is removed.

10. Is there a range of time between when you get the notification and when the tree is actually removed?
A: EAB related removals will be starting on the NE and East side as that is where we have the infestation. The tree removal will begin in earnest in 2015 and continue on the terrace for about six years moving across the City and in the parks for probably 8-9 years
Forestry staff does not yet have a list by neighborhood where trees will be cut down in the future. The majority of the preemptive removals we completed this winter were directly around the three infestation pockets. We still need to analyze our field notes and maps to determine where we will go next once the staff and equipment resources are in place. We will also need to monitor the current infestations and prioritize removals in the areas where the infestation has spread or where we find any new pockets of activity.
We will have that information available at some point this year, but our priority and focus right now is to gear up for treatments. It looks like we will not start upremoving ash trees as a stand-alone project until the end of this year or beginning of 2015. We will continue removing ash trees per the pre emptive removal criteria as we encounter them when they are related to our normal operations (area cycle pruning, sidewalk replacement, MGE pruning areas).

11. Can ash street trees being cut down on a given block be phased out over a few years so that not all trees are taken down on that block all at once (for instance if nearly the entire block is ash trees and all under wires)?
A: Not all ash trees will necessarily be removed in an all ash block. Ash trees that are over 10” dbh and have met the Forestry Section criteria of good condition, will be treated. Removing some ash trees and then having to go back into the same area a second time does not lead to the efficient use of City resources during a time when they will be strained and it doesn’t start regenerating the forest. The other challenge is applying removals equitably to a block.

12. Can I keep the terrace tree wood for my fireplace or cabin?
A: No, due to invasive pests like EAB and diseases like Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm Disease, all wood from terrace trees is taken to the City of Madison Reduction Site and chipped into 1” x 1” wood chips. This prevents further spread of EAB. The wood chips are available to the public for use in their yards as mulch. For more information, visit the Streets Division’s website at: http://www.cityofmadison.com/streets/yardWaste/woodMulch.cfm

TREE REPLACEMENT

1. When will the terrace tree be replaced?
Our goal is to replant City Forestry designated tree species in about a year or the next best planting season. We plant 2 times a year in April and October. Certain tree species can only be planted in the fall, some only in the spring.

2. Can I choose the tree species for replacement?
A: No, per Madison General Ordinance 10.10, the City Forestry Section determines all tree species and planting locations. We know people have their favorite tree, but our goal is to increase species diversity and put the right tree in the right place. We plant over 20 different species.

3. Can I plant my own replacement tree?
A: No, a planting permit is required for property owners to plant a tree on the city owned terrace. The Forestry Section still determines the tree species and planting sites. Due to limited staff and volume of replacements, no permits will be issued during the initial EAB infestation years.

4. Will the City remove the stump of the terrace?
A: City Forestry will notify the Street Division of the stump on the terrace to be grubbed. The Street Division grubs stumps May thru October. Forestry removes street trees 12 month a year, so there will be a delay between the time the tree is removed and the time the stump is removed.


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