Communities & Governments


Communities and local governments need to plan and prepare for Emerald Ash Borer infestations. EAB infestations will kill all ash trees and these dead trees will be a public safety hazard whether they are standing on public lands or private property. Communities will be better able to cope with this threat and can even prevent some of the associated risks by planning and preparing now.


Dead ash trees in St. Paul, MN before and after removal.
CREDIT: Minnesota Public Radio



It is important to:

  • Familiarize yourself and your staff with EAB - what the insect looks like, what signs & symptoms to watch for, what ash trees look like, why we're concerned...
  • Form a local EAB Task Force or Readiness Team. Various team members can carry out the steps below as well as many other preparedness tasks.
  • Inform your mayor/village president and other local decision makers about the threat of EAB and the importance of thorough preparation.
  • Review your tree ordinances. Make sure they include authority to deal with infested trees on private property. Consider adding provisions to restrict firewood movement.
  • If you don't have a tree ordinance, start this process as soon as possible.
  • Determine your risk.
  • If you have a current tree inventory of public trees, use it to count and locate ash trees in your jurisdiction;
  • If you don't have a tree inventory, conduct a complete inventory or at a minimum an "ash only" inventory.
  • Assess risk and impacts of ash trees on private property.
  • Estimate costs and workload.
  • Use your inventory data to project removal/disposal and replacement costs, staff time, equipment needs.
  • Assess your budget. If funds won't cover removal and replacement, or contract costs, begin seeking budget increases, alternative funding mechanisms and/or partnerships.
  • Survey public and private ash trees in the community for signs of EAB. EAB surveying can be coordinated with a tree inventory.
  • Determine location of waste wood processing/staging site (marshalling yard); make necessary arrangements.
  • Make a public awareness plan to include media contacts, messages, and strategies.
  • Pre-select qualified tree care companies, as necessary; pre-arrange tree removal contracts.
  • Investigate/develop/market utilization opportunities for ash residue.


Cornell Cooperative Extension has developed a workbook for communities to use in developing their own management plan for the Emerald Ash Borer. It is important that the planning process be initiated well ahead of EAB arrival so decisions can be made and funding secured. You can download the New York State Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness Plan Development Workbook

Also see the EAB NYS Community Preparedness Checklist which provides an overview of what needs to be done to plan for this emergency.

Planning for the Emerald Ash Borer is a Powerpoint presentation which you can review to further understand the importance of planning and many of the key steps in preparing for the EAB.

Talk to your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office,, to see if an Educator can speak to your municipal committee on EAB.

You can alert your community to the need for planning and preparation with the EAB Preparedness Poster.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has prepared the Emerald Ash Borer Management Response Plan for private lands. This document will provide community members and local government officials a good understanding of the current problem, possible future scenarios and ideas for strategies to use both at the local level and in partnership with the State and Federal agencies.

Planning Resources

Purdue University has created an online cost calculator, the Emerald Ash Borer Cost Calculator, which will allow you to:

  • Compare the annual and cumulative costs over a 25 year period for ANY management strategy that includes a mixture of tree removal, replacement, and insecticide treatment.
  • Compare size of the forest remaining over a 25 year period for ANY management strategy that includes a mixture of tree removal, replacement, and insecticide treatment.
  • Generate printed reports of projected costs of up to 3 management strategies at a time. is a Web site which is part of a multinational effort in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec to bring you the latest information about emerald ash borer.

On this site you can find several examples of community EAB preparedness plans from across the county.

EAB Planning for Neighborhood Associations - Purdue Extension

Here is a Sample Resolution for a Community Developing a Community Preparedness Plan This is a Word Document which you can edit to fit your community's needs.

For more detailed information on how to prepare a tree inventory see the Communities and Government Monitoring and Detection page.


Where to get help with the Planning and Preparing process

There are many elements of the preparation and planning process that you can get help with. Talk to your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office,; regional DEC office,, survey your current committee members and local volunteers for particular skill sets; or talk with neighboring communities about working together on projects.


Mobilizing Volunteers

Volunteers are a great way to get many things done. Street tree inventories can be conducted with trained volunteers, see Monitoring and Detection for more information, and public outreach can also be done with volunteers.

The Emerald Ash Borer Community Action and Monitoring checklist is a good resource for recruiting individuals to help with community planning, preparedness and other EAB related activities

See the other pages in this section for more information.


Urban Ash Wood Utilization

Urban Timber from Cincinnati: CET Cincinnati, 2011- video