Community Planning

​​Since June 2006, when the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first discovered in Illinois, state and federal officials have been surveying Illinois’ northeastern landscape to determine the extent of spread of this evasive pest. Initially, the damage was minimal as the detection method results were mostly negative, but as the pest bore in and survey tools became more refined, positive finds have become more prevalent. Recent and numerous EAB finds underscore the need for communities to be proactive against EAB. The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) strongly urges community officials to initiate an Ash-Tree-Reduction-Strategy within their boundaries today.

  • Begin by taking inventory of all Ash trees within your community. This will allow you to develop budget needs for labor and equipment, should large-scale Ash tree removals become necessary. 
  • Fill out and sign IDOA’s EAB Compliance Agreement.
  • Aggressively begin to cull the poor-conditioned Ash trees in your community. 
  • Work with local tree care professionals, and public works officials as the first line of EAB-detection. Anyone handling tree debris should enter into and follow the provisions of IDOA’s EAB compliance agreement. 
  • Establish a formal plan to record and report inventory reduction (removals) and reforestation activities.
  • Start now to develop a communication action plan should the Emerald Ash Borer be found in your community. 

Illinois EAB Compliance Agreement:

  1. Regulated articles shall not be moved out of established quarantine zone(s) at any time unless:

    1. The regulated articles have been chipped/processed to a size measuring less than 1.0 inch in two dimensions; 
    2. The bark and outer ½ inch of sapwood of regulated articles has been completely removed; or 
    3. The regulated articles, including firewood, have been treated to meet USDA-APHIS-PPQ standards for Kiln Sterilization (T404-b-4), Heat Treatment (T314-a), or Fumigation Treatment (T404-b-1-1);
  2. From May 1 to September 1, all regulated articles originating from within the EAB quarantine zone and leaving any municipality or township of their origin shall only be transported within the EAB quarantine zone in an enclosed vehicle or a vehicle completely enclosed by a covering, such as canvas, plastic or tightly woven cloth, adequate to prevent the passage of the Emerald Ash Borer to the environment;

  3. Any and all persons or entities transferring possession of regulated articles within the EAB quarantine zone to another person or entity shall inform the person or entity taking possession of the regulated article, either verbally or in writing, that the said regulated articles are subject to State and Federal quarantine regulations;

  4. Employers shall inform their employees about the EAB quarantine regulations, including EAB quarantine zone boundaries, instruct employees how to identify the EAB and its signs, and require a copy of this compliance agreement to be carried by employees working in the State of Illinois; and

  5. The Illinois Department of Agriculture shall be informed of any suspected EAB infestation(s).

Regulated Articles are defined as the following:

  1. The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in any living stage of development;
  2. Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) of any size;
  3. Ash limbs and branches;
  4. Any cut non-coniferous firewood;
  5. Bark from Ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch in two dimensions from Ash trees;
  6. Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-half-inch of sapwood or both, attached;
  7. Any item made from or containing the wood of the Ash tree which is capable of spreading the Emerald Ash Borer;
  8. Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that it presents the risk of spread of the Emerald Ash Borer in any stage of development.

The IDOA strongly recommends that municipalities use contractors who are working under a signed Illinois EAB Compliance Agreement. This will help ensure slowing the spread of EAB across the region. A list of all companies and entities currently working under this agreement are on the www.IllinoisEAB.com website.

Chipping Ash debris to less than one inch in two dimensions will destroy any hidden EAB larvae and is therefore a proven control method. Many other options are also listed on the website, such as wood-utilization alternatives and tree replanting information.

As part of a cooperative agreement with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), the IDOA is the lead regulatory agency and is responsible for EAB survey outreach and education in the state. Persons with questions are encouraged to contact our IDA Outreach Coordinator at agr.eab@illinois.gov

Having witnessed the events and patterns that unfolded since the initial confirmation of EAB in southeast Michigan during the summer of 2002 and working endlessly with EAB in Illinois since its confirmation in 2006, IDOA officials are united in their belief that it will take the cooperative effort of everyone including federal, state, and local officials, community advocates, tree care professionals and local residents to manage the devastation this invasive pest will cause. The documented spread of this pest across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Ontario (Canada), and now several other states, is continually alarming. 

Looking at what has been found through survey efforts here in Illinois, leads one to believe we are in for a long, significant battle against this pest. Current survey data reveals that we are entering a period of time where EAB is on the verge of rapid spread, especially in areas where it has already been confirmed. This will be a significant urban management problem for every municipality with large Ash inventories. 

Suggestions for making a Community Action Plan:

  1. Identify and educate a core internal team. Provide training to forestry, street and public works department staff as well as other local tree authorities.

  2. Enter into an EAB compliance agreement with IDOA. Also, help spread the word that anyone giving or selling Ash stock or other hardwood, originating from within the internal state quarantined area, must inform the person receiving the wood of the existence of the EAB quarantine and the resulting restrictions on wood movement.

  3. Educate city officials of the magnitude of potential tree loss in your community. Detail potential costs to your community for tree loss and tree replacement.

  4. Educate local advisory and tree advocacy groups on EAB biology, EAB quarantine compliance and instructions for local monitoring programs. Provide a local protocol for reporting potential incidents in your community.

  5. Implement a public education campaign to notify and educate residents about EAB and your community’s action plan to begin removing poor-conditioned Ash, plans for reforestation, and any proposed tax levies being considered to support funding of the local program. 6. Remove or replace as many ash trees as possible each year to reduce the Ash population. 

Again this year, scores of communities will most likely be discovering that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has taken up residence within their town's Ash trees.  EAB will devastate the Ash canopy and will attempt to demolish a municipality's budget with tree removal, stump grinding, restoration, replanting, staffing, and equipment. When a community discovers EAB, officials will need to have a plan.  Several communities have been proactive and have developed a plan.  Each community's plan will be different depending on your Ash inventory and resources available to you.  IDOA encourages all communities to develop their own plan.  You are welcomed to use these plans as models for your own community.   Your plan should include answers to the following: 

Sample Management Plans from various Illinois communities:

These plans will be a useful tool for other EAB-infested communities to emulate. Additionally, IDOA offers a generic press release as a start for communities to manipulate to make their own. 

  1. Glen Ellyn Ordinance
  2. Hanover Park Tree layout
  3. Lombard Mgt Plan
  4. Macomb Mgt Plan
  5. Macomb Condition Class
  6. Macomb Ash Inventory 
  7. Mt Prospect Mgt Plan
  8. Northbrook Ordinance
  9. Palatine Mgt Plan
  10. Park Ridge Mgt Plan
  11. Richton Park Letter
  12. Riverside Ordinance
  13. Wilmette Mgt Plan
  14. Wisconsin Mgt Plan
  15. Generic Press Release
  16. Purdue University Mgt Plan Feb 2011

If your community has an EAB management plan and are willing to share it with others, please provide an electronic copy of your plan to Scott.Schirmer@Illinois.gov .  Additionally, if you can provide an abstract of your town's demographics, budget, tree inventory, resources etc. it will benefit others in determining which plan to model after.

Resources