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your community for emerald ash borer.
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Emerald ash borer community toolbox

Emerald ash borer

The emerald ash borer toolbox helps municipal governments plan and respond to this pest. Wisconsin is officially in a statewide quarantine, whether your community has already been affected by the green menace or not, this insect will spread. The time to act and prepare is NOW. No matter what stage of invasion a municipality is at, prior to detection or already removing ash trees, this toolbox will introduce funding opportunities, provide insight into management options and help guide and create management plans, ordinances and outreach. It also contains information regarding what to do once trees are removed – replanting and urban wood utilization.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about that particular topic and view related resources and information.

For general EAB information, not specific to municipal readiness, see the Wisconsin EAB information source [exit DNR]. The information source website includes current information for homeowners, woodland owners, industry professionals and others on how to identify EAB and ash trees, signs and symptoms, known EAB locations in Wisconsin, quarantines, regulations, pesticides and much more.

Content of this webpage is shared for informational purposes only. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources does not endorse and makes no representations, expressed, inferred or implied, concerning these organizations, programs or services.


Local authority and responsibility to manage EAB

In addition to having a good tree ordinance, a nuisance ordinance enables communities to enforce issues related to trees and public safety. A few examples are listed below. Contact your local DNR Urban Forestry Staff for additional and more specific community tree ordinances. Please also consult your legal advisor on any matters relating to implementing your own ordinances.


Preparing a written EAB plan

An EAB plan provides direction for ash management, helping minimize the disruption and effect of emerald ash borer. A few examples of EAB plans are listed below. Contact your local DNR Urban Forestry Staff for additional examples and assistance.


Ideas for communicating with residents about EAB

One of the most important aspects of preparing for or dealing with an emerald ash borer infestation at the municipal level is making sure that all affected persons, including administrators, team members and members of the public, are kept informed and have access to needed resources. Below are examples of resources on which you may wish to model your own outreach efforts.

Samples of press releases announcing confirmations of EAB and action plans

Getting timely information out once EAB is found in a community is critical. The process often begins with the first press release. Below are some examples you can use for guidance. They all contain similar information but are written in varying styles.

Use your community’s website to everyone’s advantage

Most people will immediately go to municipal websites for information as soon as EAB is confirmed in their communities. You can save your staff a lot of time and the public a lot of frustration by having a well-organized, up-to-date site that addresses frequent questions and issues. Make sure the website is kept up-to-date and includes a current list of contacts and resources for community members. Below are examples of EAB sections of municipal websites that serve their communities well.

Questions and answers

Adding a question and answer page to your website can save a lot of staff time. The City of Indianapolis was heavily hit by EAB several years ago and used their experiences with the public to create the following page [exit DNR]. It would be relatively easy to adapt the document to include specific information about your municipality’s specific information.

Outreach materials

The outreach materials below can be used as-is or tailored to your community’s needs. Be sure to credit the developers when possible.


To understand the scale of your current or future EAB infestation, including the diversity and health of your urban forest, conduct a tree inventory. Tree inventories could be conducted quickly only for ash trees or more holistically for all trees that your community manages. See the below guides on how to identify EAB and how to conduct a tree inventory.


Be sure you make the right ash management choices for your community. We strongly encourage you to consider the benefits of retaining your tree canopy (aesthetics, stormwater runoff, increased tourism, increased property value, energy savings, decreased stress, etc.), as well as the financial expense of maintaining the treatments.

Urban ash management options

Insecticide treatment information

Hazard tree alert

Be aware that infested and dead ash trees are much more dangerous and unpredictable to work with than a healthy, green tree.

Wood Utilization

Urban wood utilization is not a novel notion. However, with the introduction of emerald ash borer, it has become more prevalent. Before utilizing the ash in a community, review the recommendations that have been developed [PDF] to help reduce the spread of EAB in potentially infested wood, especially due to the statewide quarantine, and to understand the risks and regulations associated with ash wood.

Once a community realizes their need to deal with woody material in an efficient and productive manner, the links and information listed below can be utilized to help manage this resource. For additional and more specific information pertinent to your local area, contact your local DNR Urban Forestry staff.

  • Wisconsin Urban Wood (WUW) [exit DNR]
    Wisconsin Urban Wood is a network of independent businesses and organizations in Wisconsin that reclaim urban trees for their highest and best uses, collaborating to divert quality logs from a chipper or landfill and transform them into enduring wood goods.
  • Urban Wood Network [exit DNR]
    The Urban Wood Network is made up of individuals and entities from Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. The network is dedicated to building urban wood businesses and promoting and demonstrating urban wood utilization.
  • Wood Trucking and Utilization Companies
    Provides a listing of companies and individuals who provide utilization options for urban wood in Wisconsin.
  • Mobile Grinding, Screening and Crushing Contractors [PDF]
    A compiled list of grinding, crushing and screening service suppliers to aid municipalities and businesses with large volumes of woody debris, compost and concrete or asphalt in need of processing.
  • Harvesting Trees with Modern Logging Equipment [exit DNR]
    Oak Creek, WI video (length 12:47) Demonstration and analysis of the effectiveness of mechanized cut-to-length equipment to remove and process urban trees

General utilization resources


Tree diversity is the key to a healthy and resilient urban forest. Prepare your urban and community forest for future insects and pests by planting a variety of species. Be sure to connect with a DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator to explore options for planting strategies and for examples of community tree planting lists.

Tree selection

The following resources and tree selector tools can be valuable tools in discovering trees that may perform well in your community.


Just like our financial investments, diversity is the key to avoiding the “too many eggs in one basket” scenario. The key to a healthy and resilient urban forest is to plant many different species.

Additional resources


Last revised: Friday January 03 2020