Emerald Ash Borer

About Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small, metallic green beetle that kills ash trees. The emerald ash borer is native to Asia and came to the United States around 2002. It moved from eastern United States to the Midwest through firewood, sawmill logs, and nursery plants. The larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, preventing delivery of water and nutrients to the tree, causing ash trees to die.

Community Impact

Coralville had a confirmed case of EAB in January 2017. Following patterns in the Midwest, Coralville can expect to lose the majority, if not all, of the ash tree population. Ash trees typically die in two to five years of becoming infected.

City-Owned Trees

The City is taking the following steps to limit the economic, environmental, and aesthetic impacts of EAB:
  • Taking inventory of approximately 300 City-owned ash trees in parks and streetscapes in 2016.
  • Proactively removing approximately 100 declining or structurally poor ash trees over a five year period beginning in 2016, and processing the wood in accordance with Federal guidelines.
  • Planting new trees of an alternate species after removals have taken place, with a goal of diversifying Coralville's urban forest. Proactive planting began in 2015.
  • Treating approximately 200 eligible ash trees with insecticidal treatment in 2017. Approximately 100 of these will be candidates for retreatment in 2019, and 50 in 2021. 
  • Monitoring treated trees and removing those that succumb to EAB, followed by planting new trees.

Contact Us

  1. Contact

    Alex Buhmeyer, Parks Superintendent

    Ph: 319.248.1780

  1. Info for Homeowners
  2. Who Can Treat Your Tree
  3. Helpful Resources & FAQs

Information for Homeowners

Property owners are responsible for the trees on their own property, including the right of way. Homeowners may treat ash trees in the right of way at their own expense. The City recommends systemic injection over other treatment methods (drench, spray, or granular methods) due to the lower risk of pesticide exposure. If an ash tree is not treated, it is anticipated that the tree will be in a declining state within two to four years. 

Ash Trees in Right of Way

Planting a tree in the right of way (the public space between the street curb and sidewalk) requires a tree planting permit. Right of Way Tree Planting Permit
If a private property owner has an ash tree that was planted in the right of way without a permit:
  • The property owner will be notified that the ash tree must be removed at their own cost when it is dead, dying, or diseased.
If a private property owner has an ash tree that was planted in the right of way with a permit:
  • The City is responsible for removing the tree within the right of way if it is dead, dying, or diseased (State of Iowa Code III – 1759 364.12).
  • The homeowner is responsible for removing or treating the ash tree if it is not dead, dying, or diseased.
As the ash population dies, it will be necessary to issue notices for tree removal and systematically remove permitted right of way ash trees.

Ash Trees on Private Property

Removing or treating ash trees on private property, including yards, is the property owner’s responsibility. On private property, when the City identifies a dead, diseased, or dying tree, or if a tree poses a risk to people or property, the property owner is given a notice to remove the tree at their expense. If the request is not completed, the City removes the tree and assesses the property owner on their taxes.

Ash Trees on Private Woodland Area

Removing or treating ash trees on private woodlands is the property owner’s responsibility. On private woodland property, ash trees that are dead, diseased, or dying that are not causing a dangerous situation or in danger of falling on another person’s property will be left standing. The City recommends these trees be dealt with by the property owner as soon as possible.