Emerald ash borer has arrived; no quarantines for Midtown at this time

Since the emerald ash borer was first detected in Michigan in 2002, the Asian native has been found in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Now it’s been confirmed in Kansas City. The insect attacks ash trees in urban areas as well as forests and rural parts of the states. The city is quarantining leaf and brush drop-off in Clay and Platte Counties, but not in Jackson County. Photo courtesy Missouri Department of Conservation.

Experts said it was only a matter of time until the emerald ash borer was officially detected in Kansas City, and now that time has arrived. The city says it has confirmation from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture. The city estimates there are 4.6 million ash trees in the Kansas City region.

The city’s first action has been to quarantine wood products in some areas. So far, the quarantine does not extend to Midtown or Kansas City, but does affect Clay, Platte and Wyandotte Counties. The quarantine means the city’s leaf and brush drop-off sites located at 1815 N. Chouteau Trafficway and at 10301 Raytown Road will not accept leaf and brush from Clay and Platte county residents after Jan. 12, 2013. Alternative drop-off site(s) will be announced for Clay County and Platte County residents in the near future.

Here’s the city’s advice for residents who are unsure if they have ash trees or if their ash tree suffers from the emerald ash borer.

The city also says residents should educate themselves about this pest between now and spring in order to make informed decisions on whether an ash tree should be removed at some future point in time or chemically treated to preserve it.

Experts also recommends that residents plan spring plantings of new trees on their property to help replace the ash trees that may eventually be lost.

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