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Metro Tree Advisory Committee Urges Residents to Address Emerald Ash Borer

Cortnye Stone

This spring is the time to start your EAB management plan.

Nashville has many beautiful native ash trees in parks, on school grounds, along city streets and in private yards. Sadly, none of these ash trees are immune to the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest rapidly spreading across Middle Tennessee. Now is the time for Nashville residents to make a decision on how to manage their ash trees.

Managing the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer epidemic includes three options: Treat your tree, let it die or remove it. Early spring is the time to select what is right for your tree. The longer a management plan is delayed, the more it will cost.

Treat it

Sustained insecticide control requires soil or bark treatments every year, or injection treatments every two years for the remaining healthy life of the tree. This option is best for healthy large significant or historic trees. Treatments may be applied by the homeowner or a licensed professional. It’s crucial to treat your tree before it is infested. Insecticides are most effective before infestation symptoms are discovered. Once there is more than 20% dieback of the tree’s crown, treatment may not be effective as the EAB larvae may have damaged the tree too much. If this is your management option, treatment must start now, spring of 2019, as the trees are coming out of winter dormancy and will actively take up chemical treatments.

Let it die

If the tree is in the woods or on open area where its fall would not block access or cause physical or property damage, you can let it die naturally in place and decompose.

Remove it

You can be proactive and have your tree cut down before it becomes infested and dies. If it is not accessible by a bucket truck, then it needs to be cut down before it becomes too brittle for tree workers to climb. Infested ash trees present a serious safety concern.

For More Information

  • Metro EAB website:
  • Managing the Emerald Ash Borer Epidemic in Nashville Brochure: Website or call 615-862-5000
  • Schedule a free EAB speaker for your community, work or place of worship: Register on the website or contact Jennifer Smith at or 615-862-8708.

The EAB Speaker’s Bureau is presented by the Metro Tree Advisory Committee. The program will review how to identify ash trees, management options, and tree owner’s responsibility and how to hire an arborist.

The Committee’s mission, working closely with city departments and non-profit partners, is to recommend tree policies, educate the community about the benefits of trees and proper tree planting and care, and promote tree planting and preservation.