Emerald Ash Borer Impacting Trees at Willard Library

July 10, 2018 - The emerald ash borer has been discovered spreading outside of the downtown Evansville area where it was first found in 2016.  The emerald ash borer is a non-native, invasive pest that was first found in America in 2003.  Since its discovery, it has killed millions of ash trees in North America.  The City of Evansville Department of Urban Forestry has been monitoring for the pest since it was found in Evansville, and reacts to dying trees as needed to protect the safety of the city’s tree population. Adopt an Ash logo

The Urban Forestry Department found evidence of Emerald Ash Borer in Ash trees at Willard Library, Garvin Park, and at Main and Michigan, in Ash trees that are dying, and is coordinating to remove the trees.  The trees at Willard Library were likely infested for at least two years.  The trees appeared healthy last fall, but unknowingly damage from the pest had already been done. 

“This is pretty typical of damage to Ash trees by Emerald Ash Borer,” said Urban Forestry Director Shawn Dickerson. “Ash trees may appear healthy but may already be infested by the pest, and then not show signs of the infestation until the next year, or possibly later when it will be too late.  The pest is probably already infested Ash trees in a majority of the Evansville area.  That is why the Department of Urban Forestry is advising the public to treat their ash trees now if they want to save them before it is too late.”

According to what has been seen in other Cities affected by the borer, ash trees that are not treated in a given area will likely be infested and dead or dying within a 6 to 10 year period from the time it is found in that area.  That clock started two years ago for Evansville.  The emerald ash borer is expected to wipe out all ash trees that are not treated in our region, and not just random trees. That represents approximately 6 to 7 percent of all of our city’s trees. Some areas have more than 50 percent ash trees, and those areas will be the hardest hit. 

The city also needs help saving public ash trees on city properties.  Evansville Parks Foundation and TruGreen have partnered to operate an Adopt-An-Ash program to help save all ash trees in city parks, city cemeteries and other public properties in Evansville. For those interested in adopting a public ash tree, please go online to evansville.adoptanash.org.

Information about the emerald ash borer and different treatments to protect Ash trees can be found at www.evansville.in.gov/urbanforestry.