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Emerald Ash Borer

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has determined that the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees has been found in Davidson County. The Emerald Ash Borer is attacking all species of North American ash trees and unless treated, it will kill them all before the year 2026. No ash tree is immune to the devastating effects of this insect which has been in Davidson County since 2014 and Tennessee since 2010. Even white fringetree, a close relative of ash and often planted as a small ornamental tree, is vulnerable to this insect.

Managing the Emerald Ash Borer Epidemic in Nashville - This brochure includes helpful information for the Nashville property owner including ash tree identification, infestation signs, management options, tree owner’s responsibilities, tree debris disposal, and how to hire an arborist.

Do I Have an Ash Tree?

Ash Tree Identification

Is My Tree Infested?

Management Options

Be Sure to Replant

Emerald Ash Borer is only one of many threats to Nashville's tree canopy. As Nashville grows at its current pace, it is essential to keep our tree canopy working for us.

Be sure to replant any trees you must remove and help ensure Nashville has a wide diversity of trees. This insect infestation shows that a healthy urban forest needs a variety of trees, to create resiliency against the next invasive infestation.

Find your special tree from the websites given below. Learn how big and wide your tree will be when mature and plant it in the right place, taking note of nearby powerlines and other structures. Remember during the first three years, trees need deep watering throughout the growing season, especially during a drought.

Metro Nashville Tree Advisory Committee's Recommended Tree List also includes trees that are not recommended for planting.

Arbor Day Foundation: Tree Guide

The use of native plants in landscaping is a celebration of our natural heritage and supports native wildlife. Landscaping with Native Plants in Middle Tennessee includes a list of small to large trees.

Request a Speaker

Nashville has many beautiful native ash trees in parks, on school grounds, along city streets and in private yards. Sadly, the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest, will kill all of them by 2026, unless they are treated. No ash tree is immune to the devastating effects of this insect which is now in Davidson County. The progress of the infestation and resulting tree death is swift.

To find out more about the Emerald Ash Borer schedule a free speaker for your Nashville community or work group. The presentation will review how to identify ash trees and management options. Also discussed will be the tree owner's responsibility and how to hire an arborist.

This presentation can be 20 to 45 minutes and be either a power point or flip chart presentation. The type of presentation format depends on the set-up at the meeting location. Allow additional time for questions.

To schedule a free Emerald Ash Borer presentation, register online or contact Metro Public Works Horticulturist, Jennifer Smith.

Trees in the public right-of-way on your property

This utility easement is generally the area between the back of a water meter box, utility pole or the sidewalk to the street. Metro Nashville Public Works will respond to tree health issues for trees in the right-of-way, even if the tree trunk is only partially in this area. Please call hubNashville at 615-862-5000 or 311 to report an ash tree in the right-of-way. Metro Public Works reserves the option to cut down noted ash trees before they become infested.

Trees on Commercial Property

Any tree on commercial property that is 6" or more in trunk width requires a removal permit from a Metro Codes Urban Forester, 615-862-6488 or 615-862-6886.

Hiring an Arborist

After initial infestation by Emerald Ash Borer, the wood of ash trees quickly begins to deteriorate within two years. This causes branches and even trunks to become brittle, crack and fall, the process being much faster than in other tree species. This can present a hazardous situation for arborists to remove and caution is urged. Tree removal by homeowners after infestation is not recommended.

Learn about services arborists provide and criteria for selecting an arborist.

Need to find an arborist? The International Society of Arboriculture which certifies arborists has an arborist location service. Find an arborist in your area or verify a credentials.

Expert Resources within Nashville

UT/TSU Extension-Davidson County delivers educational programs and research-based information on areas of Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences and Community Resource Development to Davidson County citizens. Their horticultural staff serves as a resource for Emerald Ash Borer information. Visit the Extension Office online or call 615-862-5995

Cheekwood Estate and Gardens is a traditional resource for horticultural displays and information

Metro Nashville Brush and Leaf Collection Program

Residential property in Nashville receives four brush pick-ups per year. Visit the Brush Collection webpage for more information on collection and drop-off information.

Emerald Ash Borer Teacher Resources

Plant Heroes was developed by the American Public Gardens Association's Plant Protection Program and make possible with support from USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and USDA's Forest Service.

What can I do to help?

The Emerald Ash Borer was likely brought from Asia to the United States in wood packing material and has been spread to many parts of the country by the moving of untreated wood. Get more information about how to help slow the spread of this devastating insect pest

Help restore Nashville's tree canopy. Volunteer for the Nashville Tree Foundation's community tree planting projects.

Related Emerald Ash Borer Information

Shade the City, Plant more Trees!

How to Organize a Successful Tree Planting is a handbook of best practices created to help group leaders plan, prepare, and implement a successful event for their school, organization, or neighborhood group. This manual was created on behalf of Metro Public Works, Metro Beautification and Environment Commission, Metro Tree Advisory Committee with the Metro Landscape Coordination Program. It was funded by a Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry Grant.


Managing the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Epidemic in Nashville

To find out more about Emerald Ash Borer in Nashville, register for the Emerald Ash Borer presentation which will review how to identify ash trees and management options. Also discussed will be the tree owner’s responsibility, how to hire an arborist and how to properly dispose of tree debris.

Tree Talk with the Nashville Metro Tree Advisory Committee

Join members of the Tree Advisory Committee covering topics from favorite trees, tree health, tree lore, to community efforts to plant and sustain our tree canopy.

Learn how you can get involved and make a difference!

Metro Tree Advisory Committee mission is 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.

Register for the Tree Talk webinar.

How to Plant a Tree

Fall is the perfect time of year for planting trees!

The Metro Tree Advisory Committee has a comprehensive tree planting diagram guide for balled-and-burlapped trees and container grown trees.

In addition, Nashville Electric Service has a Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place Guide. They list large, medium and small size trees, and note the needed planting distance from power lines.

Please call 811 before you dig so that underground utilities can be identified and marked before you plant your tree. This is a free service and takes 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to mark your area and validate your ticket.

Be sure to water your tree deeply at the time of planting.

How to Plant a Tree Video

Presented by the Metro Nashville Tree Advisory Committee

Green Shirt Volunteer Leaders Training Video, A program of the Nashville Tree Foundation