Emerald Ash Borer Frequently Asked Questions
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First appearing in Indiana only in the past two decades, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is now considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America.  An EAB infestation destroys tissues under the bark of ash trees, corrupting the spread of water and nutrients. This often kills the tree within three years. Through research into the biology of EAB, its rate of spread, methods for detection, natural enemies and how insecticides may be used, the City of Indianapolis hopes to educate the public on this issue, and then partner with individuals and neighborhood groups to hopefully protect some of the City’s trees against this aggressive pest.

Where can I learn more about the history of Emerald Ash Borer and how to make a preliminary assessment of its impact?
The Purdue University Department of Entomology has a page on their website for individuals looking for information about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and options to manage EAB, click here​.

Which areas of the City of Indianapolis are being affected by EAB?
Generally, all townships of Marion County have documented infestations of Emerald Ash Borer, however not all areas have been impacted to the same degree of severity.  Eventually, all areas of the County will be fully infested by EAB.  

What is the City doing to understand the scope of the problem?
The City is working to create a complete street tree inventory. This will allow City administrators to better understand the impact of EAB in each township and to address severely impacted areas as new information is gathered.  Corrective work is being prioritized and scheduled appropriately based on the condition of the tree as noted at the time of inspection.

I am treating an ash tree within a City Right-of-Way or park Emerald Ash Borer.  How do I ensure it is not removed by the City?
If a private individual has a Flora permit to treat an ash tree for Emerald Ash Borer in City Right-of-Way, then the address of the tree is entered into a database indicating that it is being treated. The City consults this database before scheduling any ash tree removals. In addition, the City notifies adjacent residents via door hanger or letter of pending removals for activities at their addresses.  Notification will include pertinent contact information should a resident have questions or concerns.

All public ash trees, including those being treated with protective chemicals, will be periodically assessed by a city arborist for health and structure. Any trees determined to be outside the threshold of tolerable risk by the city arborist will be scheduled for removal and the adjacent resident or property owner will be notified.

I am concerned that there are trees in the public Right-of-Way or on public land that may be affected by EAB. Should I notify the City? Who do I contact?Individuals should notify the City by submitting a service request by calling the Mayor’s Action Center (317-327-4622) or visit the RequestIndy website​.

Representatives of larger areas and groups, such as neighborhoods, should also notify the City by submitting a service request though the MAC. For situations involving multiple addresses, only one address needs to be submitted on the service request. Representatives can use the comments section of the request form to express that the request is for an area larger than the specified address.

How does the City prioritize which areas need to have their ash trees removed?
All Forestry work orders, including EAB-related ash tree removals, are prioritized and scheduled with regard to the potential risk to public safety.  DPW Forestry staff continuously analyzes the data collected during the ongoing street tree inventory and prioritizes ash tree removal based on the risk assessment of each individual tree.

Will the City be treating or preserving the ash trees in my neighborhood?
No. Due to limited resources, the City does not currently provide any chemical treatment of trees, including ash trees, along streets and right of ways. A small number of ash trees in city parks will be treated with pesticide in hopes of postponing their decline. 

What steps can I take to provide protection for the trees in my neighborhood?
Concerned citizens who wish to help protect publicly-owned trees against EAB can help by providing for the application of protective chemical treatments.  Several chemical treatments are available to protect trees from the threat of EAB.  Before applying a chemical treatment to publicly-owned trees, citizens—or a qualified contracted arborist of their choice—must obtain a Flora permit from the Department of Code Enforcement.  There is no cost to obtain this permit.  Although some treatments can be applied by the homeowner, please note that most treatments will require application by a certified arborist with a pesticide applicator’s license.

To obtain the Flora permit application, click here.

The Bureau of Environmental Services within the Department of Code Enforcement may be contacted by dialing (317) 327-8700, or here​.

Will the City of Indianapolis replace the ash tree that was removed from the right-of-way or public land?
The City does not directly replace individual trees lost due to natural causes, such as storms, pests, diseases, or extreme weather.  Sometimes the City may be able to replace a tree lost to reasons such as vandalism, motor vehicle accidents, or construction damage, provided the offending party can be found and held accountable for the damage.   In order to replace trees lost to natural causes, the City, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Indianapolis Power and Light, and many other partners and neighborhood organizations work together every year to plant thousands of trees throughout Indianapolis in parks and neighborhoods. Some of the neighborhoods and parks targeted for tree plantings will receive additional priority for replanting based on the severity of impact to their overall canopy by the Emerald Ash Borer. Citizens may contact these organizations if they would like to request that a planting project be considered at their location.

May I plant a tree to replace an ash tree that was removed from Right-of-Way or other such public land?
Yes. Anyone can apply for a Flora permit to plant in the Right-of-Way or public land if they would like to purchase an acceptable tree, install the tree and maintain it for a period of two years. An individual may also hire a qualified landscape or tree care company to install the tree, provided the company obtains the necessary Flora permit.  The City reserves the right to deny an inappropriate planting proposal, and will not reimburse a private individual for trees planted in public spaces.

Keep Indianapolis Beautiful also has a street tree replacement program available to residents of Indianapolis. For more information please visit their website​ or call 317-264-7555.

Will the City of Indianapolis grind or pull out the stump that remains after the ash tree in the right-of-way near my property is removed?
No, stump removal is not currently a service offered by the City due to limited resources.  A private individual may pay a commercial contractor to have the stump ground out, provided the contractor has obtained authorization via a Flora permit.