There is a new Emerald Ash Borer article out that evaluates different urban forest treatment options and weighs the pro and cons of each. And a recent tale from Fort Wayne, Indiana- which is trying to implement their plan.
This is a complex situation, all the more reason to stop, ask deliberate questions and make thoughtful decisions.
Economic Analysis of EAB Management Options: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1603/EC11130 The full article is available through Mann Library, and a news brief at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120209172924.htm?utm_s...
A couple of highlights:
- From the abstract: A relative economic analysis was used to compare a control option (do-nothing approach, only removing ash trees as they die) to three distinct management options: 1) preemptive removal of all ash trees over a 5 yr period, 2) preemptive removal of all ash trees and replacement with comparable nonash trees, or 3) treating the entire population of ash trees with insecticides to minimize mortality. For each valuation and management option, an annual analysis was performed for both the remaining ash tree population and those lost to emerald ash borer. Retention of ash trees using insecticide treatments typically retained greater urban forest value, followed by doing nothing (control), which was better than preemptive removal and replacement. Preemptive removal without tree replacement, which was the least expensive management option, also provided the lowest net urban forest value over the 20-yr simulation. (The insecticide treatment option was also the most expensive option).
- And, something to balance that with from the conclusion: (The “scorecard” refers to a Goeller scorecard developed for this study- read the full text). The scorecard allows decision-makers to quickly and easily view trends in the data and weigh decisions against individually defined goals and objectives. For instance, if a community’s goals were to reduce the mean number of trees lost per year the Goeller scorecard shows insecticide treatment to be the best option. Likewise, if the goal is to maximize net urban forest value, treatment is the better option. However, if the goal is to reduce the mean total costs per year, insecticide treatment is the worst option. This example shows the complexity of the issue.
Please note- these calculations are very complex, but do not take the “risk” factor into consideration.
And, a dose of reality:
An article about Fort Wayne Indiana’s EAB situation. Great example of what’s really happening out there. One caveat: they list the price for Tree-Age in the article- that is for the chemical only, not the cost to apply it. http://tribstar.com/local/x980632545/Fort-Wayne-forester-tells-of-d...