Emerald Ash Borer creeps into Bay Village

This leaf was taken from a healthy-looking ash tree on Wolf Road.

The city of Bay Village, along with all cities in the 88 counties of Ohio, is currently under Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine. An EAB is a small, metallic looking, wood-boring beetle from Asia that is believed to have entered the United States in 2002 around the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario border.

The EAB bores into ash trees with their larvae feeding on the living portion of the tree, directly beneath the bark. Feeding on this part of the tree reduces the tree’s exposure to essential food and water, causing mortality within a few short years. While the EAB has the ability to travel up to a half-mile in one flight, their spread of infestation has been helped along by man moving infected trees across counties.

Since its discovery in 2002, the EAB has rapidly spread. Quarantines have been implemented in an effort to slow the spread of the infestation.

Bay Village currently employs two ISA Certified Arborists, who have made several positive EAB identifications on local streets, parks and residential trees. The overall effects of Emerald Ash Borer on the city’s urban forest will not only be a monetary issue, but will have a detrimental effect on our entire tree canopy for the city of Bay Village.

One of the most noticeable side effects of losing our tree canopy will be the inundation of storm water run-off added to the city’s aging storm sewers. Using the Tree Benefits calculator at treebenefits.com to generate a storm water run-off model, we can show that just one 14-inch diameter ash tree will intercept 1,661 gallons of storm water run-off alone. Intercepting and holding rain on the tree’s leaves, branches, and bark, as well as storing water in its roots, will stop that additional water from becoming run-off.

An ash tree inventory was last completed for the 16.7 street miles of the Bay Village in 1997. An estimate of the current number of total street trees is 4,270, with about 4.6 percent, or 200 trees, being of the Ash Genus FRAXINUS. The City of Bay Village has drafted a management plan to limit the spread of the EAB. This plan, however, and any other plans for limiting the spread, must include removal of the ash trees.

Treatment with pesticides is not currently a recommended action to save an ash tree. A replanting schedule is an integral part of the City’s plan (and should also be conducted by private property owners) to ensure that the tree canopy, and our status in the future as a Tree City USA community, may be maintained.

Key items for Bay residents to plan for and remember:

  • City Arborists will maintain an ash tree inventory of city-owned trees. Trees located on private property are the responsibility of the property owner. The City is not anticipated to order a resident to remove a private ash tree unless it becomes infected and/or hazardous. Once a private tree has been deemed infected, City Ordinance 547.01 Dead and Diseased Trees, may be invoked.
  • The ash trees are safer to remove now, while they are alive and potentially not infected. A dead tree of any species costs more for a service company to remove.
  • Removal of an ash tree must follow the State of Ohio Revised Code 901:5-56-03 pertaining to chipping of the ash trees to prevent the potential spread of EAB larvae, into pieces one-inch-square or smaller.

Additional resources for identification of the EAB beetle, identification of an ash tree, or proper removal procedures:

  • City of Bay Village Arborists – Mike Polinski, mpolinski@cityofbayvillage.com; Pat Scott, pscott@cityofbayvillage.com; Voicemail: 440-899-3484; Fax: 440-899-3480
  • Ohio Division of Forestry – http://ohiodnr.com/tabid/5066/Default.aspx
  • Ohio Department of Agriculture – http://agri.ohio.gov/eab; EAB hotline: 1-888-OHIO-EAB
  • The Ohio State University Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Team – http://ashalert.osu.edu

Daniel Krieg, Mike Polinski and Pat Scott

Daniel Krieg is a Bay Village resident. Mike Polinski and Pat Scott are City of Bay Village Arborists.

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Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 6:34 PM, 08.23.2011