Upstate New York is home to some of the most beautiful Ash trees that you’ll ever lay eyes upon, but these important trees face a constant risk from Emerald Ash Borer. Recently, the damage caused by EAB to ash trees in Monroe County has prompted the Department of Transportation to send a letter to members of the community letting them know that certain ash trees will be removed due to damage.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an exotic Asian insect pest whose presence has been confirmed in this area.  Infested trees have been found in urban areas, woodlots and nursery stock.  This borer has killed millions of trees, from small, young specimens to established, mature specimens.  While damage to ash trees from EAB may be irreversible, there are certain steps that can be taken to protect your trees.

Below is a copy of the letter sent from Monroe County Department of Transportation regarding EAB:

“…As you may know, the emerald ash borer will soon be infecting most, if not all, the ash trees in the Monroe County area. A task force of tree professionals from several municipalities and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has been monitoring the threat, and have identified that the ash borers are spreading quite rapidly and that within the next few years it is very likely that all ash trees will be infested. This does not mean the tree will immediately die, but once infective, it will eventually die.

An inventory of ash trees along county roads identified nearly 8000 ash trees in the County highway Right-of-Way that will eventual be infected. The options to address this issue are tree removal or chemically treat each tree every few years. Based on the number of trees, the treatment cost, and the uncertainty if the treatment will protect the tree from the ash borer, Monroe County Department of Transportation has decided to be proactive in removing these trees along our roadsides before they die and become a safety hazard to the traveling public.

As a result of this decision, as part of the maintenance work being performed on your road this year, the ash trees along the Monroe County right of way will be cut down. The tree(s) that are in front of homes will be removes and the stumps ground out, and the disturbed areas will be top soil and seeded. Ash trees not in front of homes will be cut down and the stumps will be cut flush with the ground and not ground out. For any question, please call the Highway Maintenance Manager of the area, Jim Gagnier (585) 753-7732.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, however, we feel it is necessary at this time to let you know what our plans are for dealing with this matter. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.”