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, it has now spread throughout the entire City. The City Arborist responsible for tracking the progression of EAB has recorded a significant increase in the infestation of EAB in 2014. There are signs of EAB in all areas of the City with the southeast area being the most affected.
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 was 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. As of July 2014, the Franklin Department of Public Works has removed approximately 1,500 trees, with more emphasis placed on weak and declining trees found primarily on curb and gutter streets. Now in 2014, the Franklin Department of Public Works is finding a significant increase of declining/dead trees along rural roadways (open ditch roads). Therefore, staff will increase removals along these roads. Public Works employees will only remove public trees on City owned lands or on road right-of-way, no private trees. Personnel will be marking dying/dead Ash trees located on public lands and road right-of way with removal beginning shortly thereafter, starting in the areas with the greatest infestation.
The City would like to encourage residents to inspect the Ash trees on your property or have them inspected and removed if infested. If these trees remain standing, they will become brittle and more dangerous, as they will snap and fall. This is not only a safety concern, but also makes removal more time consuming and costly.
If you have any concerns with Ash trees on City lands or road right-of-way adjacent to your property, please call the Franklin Department of Public Works at 414-425-2592. 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