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Emerald Ash Borer Options for Homeowners
Download a Brochure on Treatment Options: Emerald Ash Borer Brochure

Homeowners have the option of keeping their parkway ash tree, unless it has health or structural concerns. Please contact the City Arborist to make this request at 319-286-5616.

Homeowners can also treat their ash trees on private property. The City currently does not utilize chemical treatments for EAB infestation. However, this option is available for property owners. The City offers information to residents interested in learning more about treatment options.

Chemical Treatment

  • Chemical treatment of an ash tree.The chemical solutions Emamectin Benzoate (sold under the trade name Tree-Age) and Merit (Imidacloprid) are commonly used to treat ash trees. There are several things to keep in mind when treating ash trees with these products, and the City recommends residents review the options carefully before making a decision:

  • If you treat a parkway tree, you need to contact the Forestry Department so the tree can be evaluated, approved and put on a list so it is not removed prematurely.

  • An ISA Certified Arborist should evaluate private trees to see if they are in good condition. Once you start treatment on a tree, you will need to continue it for the life of the tree. If you stop, the insect can infest the tree and kill it.

  • These products are not preventative and do not guarantee survival of the tree. To be effective, the insect’s larva needs to ingest the chemical by chewing through the bark. Current success rates are 90-95%. A tree could still become infected after treatment and die. In addition, some treatments require injections, which create small wounds and stress to the tree.

  • Product awareness: Merit, when applied as a ground treatment instead of a trunk injection, can contaminate groundwater if the per acre limitations are surpassed. Merit is used to control a variety of insects, not just Emerald Ash Borer, and exceeding the per acre limitations can happen unknowingly.

  • Groundwater contamination can cause health issues for fish, wildlife, and people. Homeowners are encouraged to follow the label and talk with their neighbors about their ash treatment. Professional applicators should also survey the area. Trunk injections are preferred, which goes directly into the tree and decreases the risk of leaching and groundwater contamination.

  • Treatment is only part of an overall management program. Trees should be properly pruned on a regular basis (every 5 years), watered regularly and fertilized yearly. This will keep them in the healthiest state possible to fight off infestation.

Find more information at:
Emerald Ash Borer Info
SMA EAB Position Paper
EAB Toolkit
EAB US Forest Service Site
Emerald Ash Borer - APHIS - USDA Plant Health > Plant Pest Information
EAB Cost Calculator | Purdue University
Current science reported in 2011 by the Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation
Addendum to the 2/25/2011 document in support of the Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation's EAB Management Statement 
City of Cedar Rapids FAQ - Emerald Ash Borer

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