Community Ash Densities and Economic Impact Potential of Emerald Ash Borer

By Sydnor, T. Davis; Bumgardner, Matthew; Subburayalu, Sakthi
Champaign, IL (March 2011)- A survey of 586 community representatives with urban tree canopy responsibilities was conducted to provide data on ash density within four states in the Midwestern U.S., and to examine potential economic losses should emerald ash borer (EAB) become established in their communities.


Assuming the complete loss of ash due to EAB, losses in landscape value for ash trees within community boundaries were estimated to be between USD $7.7 (median-based) and $15 billion (mean-based). The cost to remove those trees is somewhat smaller and would be between $3 and $5.8 billion. Replacing trees lost to EAB with smaller 5 cm trees in street, park, and private plantings would cost between $2.7 and $5.2 billion. The total loss of ash for communities in the four states surveyed, including landscape losses, tree removals, and replacements are estimated to be between $13.4 and $26 billion. The potential total costs per 1,000 residents in the four-state region is estimated to be between $395,943 and $769,687.
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Community Ash Densities and Economic Impact Potential of Emerald Ash Borer