White Ash tree canopy in fall


An invasive exotic pest reaches KC Metro

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive exotic pest that kills all American native Ash trees. Here are some quick things to know:
• EAB will not harm you, your children or your pets.
• EAB infects only ASH trees and NO other trees.

How to Identify an Ash Tree


Tips for Dealing with Emerald Ash Borer

  • Do NOT plant Ash trees
  • Remove any small Ash tree and replace with a different tree selection*
  • Remove any Ash trees that are in poor shape as soon as possible and replant*
  • Identify healthy Ash trees on your property that are critical to your landscape
  • Do NOT move firewood, even if you plan to burn it.

* Tree Replacement Recommendations

Download this list compiled by Powell Gardens' Horticulture staff to find the right tree for your site and to review some trees the staff does NOT recommend. Download list of recommended trees.

If You Have Healthy Ash Trees

They are worth saving! Here is where you need to start:

  • If you live in Southeastern Platte County or the Southwestern corner of Clay County or northern Wyandotte County, you may need to begin treatment of your Ash trees next spring.
  • Other regions of Greater Kansas City are not under immediate threat but should be on the watch for any spread of this bug.

How to Identify this Pest

It is smaller than many people envision. Note the scale in this photo from the Missouri Department of Conservation:
Adult Emerald Ash Borer


Treatment Options

Treating Ash trees requires chemicals that are toxic to various components of our environment so must be used with care, following all labels. The chemical benefits outweigh the detriment when used appropriately. An effective organic treatment may become available in 2013.

  • If your Ash tree is smaller than 18 inches in diameter you may be able to treat it yourself.
  • If your Ash tree is 18 inches or larger in diameter, y ou should hire a professional arborist for proper treatment.
  • For facts about insecticides visit this page of frequently asked questions.

Doing Nothing is NOT an Option

A dead Ash tree is a major liability. The wood becomes very brittle quickly and can fall at random, creating a risk of injuring people and destroying property. Extinction of the Ash tree will affect more than 400 species of insects that rely on these trees. Most are beneficial insects and pollinators that form a foundation of the local web of life--primarily as a food source for baby songbirds.

Where to Learn More

National: www.emeraldashborer.info

Missouri: www.eab.missouri.edu

Kansas: www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/379

By phone:

Missouri EAB hotline: 866-716-9974

Kansas Department of Agriculture: 785-862-2180

Read more on Powell Gardens' blog.

Did you know? Volunteers contributed more than 18,000 hours to Powell Gardens in 2011, working in nearly every area from horticulture to administration. Learn how you can get involved. »


Gardening & Nature: Classes to help you finesse your techniques and tune in to nature.

See the Schedule »

Give the gift of learning. A membership to Friends of Powell Gardens includes discounts on all classes.

Join Today! »

Powell Gardens is a perfect place to explore the wonders of nature with your family.

Learn More »