In August of 2009 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an exotic beetle from Asia that feeds on all ash trees, was discovered by the City of Franklin Public Works Department and confirmed by the Department of Agriculture. The first find of EAB was in the southeast section of Franklin at the intersection of S. 35th Street and W. Hilltop Lane. As anticipated, EAB is moving steadily through the City. A recent survey completed by the City arborist confirms EAB in an area bordered by S. 76th Street to the west, College Avenue to the north, County Line Road to the south, and through a major portion of Oak Creek to the east.
In 2010 the City of Franklin Department of Public Works, with financial aid from an Urban Forestry Grant, had completed a detailed inventory of all curbside trees. This information is being used to assist department personnel in the removal and replacement of trees infested with EAB or trees with poor structure. Emerald Ash Borer will affect the upper portion of a tree first, but ultimately it takes approximately 3 to 4 years for EAB to kill a tree. Therefore, in 2012, we are now finding trees completely destroyed from EAB in Franklin. If you have ash trees on your property, be prepared to find thinning of the canopy followed by dieback of the branches. Information from neighboring states warns that once an ash tree dies from EAB it becomes brittle in a short period of time and will easily snap in a windy situation. This is another reason for everyone to be aware of your ash trees and their condition. If an ash tree is in decline and in close proximity to a structure, sidewalk, or public roadway, it should be removed. Dead trees that remain standing will only become more difficult and costly to remove.
All area residents are encouraged to inspect their trees, first making sure they are ash trees. Then look for the signs and symptoms of EAB. If your ash tree appeared healthy during the last growing season and you have any interest in keeping it alive, treatment may be an option but must be started soon. Depending on the chemical selected, the application is required annually or biennially. To assure the proper application procedure and rate, it is recommended to have a licensed pesticide applicator complete the work. Most chemicals are applied in Spring or early Fall, making Winter a good time to schedule an appointment for treatment. You may also wish to check your ash tree for woodpecker damage, as they thrive on the larvae that are under the bark of ash trees.
The links below offer numerous amounts of information for the public on identifying ash trees and symptoms of EAB. The links also provide information on treatment options. The City does allow private residents to treat the street trees adjacent to their property but a "Contractor Authorization to Treat Ash Trees" form must be filled out and returned to the Department of Public Works. A form is not needed for residents treating trees on their private property.
Emerald Ash Borer Online Resources:
Contractor Authorization to Treat Ash Trees Form