Who Pays for Dead and Dying Ash Tree Removal?
The below article is a repost from the July 29, 2010 OSU BYGL Newsletter available at: m http://bygl.osu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=904:bygl-july-29-2010&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=74
As more and more ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees succumb to the EMERALD ASH BORER (EAB), some tree owners are asking who will pay for the removal of these infested trees.
In 2002, the EAB was first discovered in Michigan, and then in 2003 it was first found in Ohio. Early on in the program, there were eradication efforts in place. Ash trees were identified, marked, removed and chipped, as part of the eradication efforts and was done at no cost to the property owners. The goal was to eliminate the insect, thus saving ash trees outside of the core of the infestation. Additional finds keep popping up in several states, and eradication efforts were halted as the insect was more wide spread than anticipated.
With this change in the program came some options for individuals managing ash trees. Chemical treatments to protect trees became a tool for those wanting to “save” their tree(s) from EAB, but with that also came the responsibility to deal with dead and dying ash trees, especially those with adherent risk to people and property if they were to fall. Since that time, communities, businesses, woodland owners, and homeowners are responsible for the management of their own ash trees, which includes the removal costs; costs that can often range from several hundred to several thousands of dollars.
Wood utilization is an opportunity that some may have not thought much about before EAB. Ash trees from infested areas have been transformed into beautiful furniture; carved into walking sticks, bowls and other pieces; sculpted by chainsaw artist into unique pieces; used for railroad ties, mulch, firewood, and more. Michigan has led the way in the ash wood utilization, and Ohio is hoping to learn some valuable lessons. Check out some of the great work folks working with the Southeastern Michigan RC&D at http://semircd.org/ash/