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Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Kansas City

Quarantine placed on wood products within Clay and Platte counties

The City of Kansas City, Mo., is advising residents that both the Missouri Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture have confirmed the Emerald Ash Borer as being in Kansas City.

While not a threat to human or animal health, this beetle is destructive to the 4.6 million ash trees in the Kansas City region. To prevent the accidental spread of the Emerald Ash Borer, a state and federal quarantine has been placed on wood products in Clay and Platte counties in Missouri and Wyandotte County in Kansas. Please note, the quarantine has not been placed on Jackson County, Mo.

As a result of this quarantine, 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.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a small (1/2 inch) metallic green beetle native to Asia and attacks only ash trees. It was first detected in the United States in Michigan in 2002. Since that time it has spread to other states including Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas. Ten of millions of ash trees in forest, rural and urban areas have already been killed or are heavily infested by this pest. The broad distribution of the Emerald Ash Borer in the United States is primarily due to people inadvertently transporting firewood, unprocessed logs andinfested ash nursery stock.

Ash trees become infested when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark of limbs at the top of the tree. The eggs hatch into larvae that bore into the tree, making S-shaped tunnels just under the bark, disrupting the water and nutrient flow, eventually killing the tree. The beetle then emerges in the spring from the tree through 1/8-inch D-Shaped holes in the bark.

What are some the symptoms of an infestation?

    Sparse leaves and/or branches dying in the upper part of the tree

    New sprouts on the roots and/or lower trunk

    Short (3-5 inches) vertical splits in the bark

    Winding, S-shaped tunnels just under the bark

    Small white- or cream-colored larvae under the bark

    1/8-inch D-Shaped holes on the bark

    Increased woodpecker activity on the tree

Residents who are unsure if they have ash trees or if their ash tree suffers from the Emerald Ash Borer are advised to contact a certified arborist or forester for help. Visit the Missouri Department of Conservation website for tips on how to hire a qualified professional at For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer, visit the following cooperative website: Information will also be posted at in the coming weeks.

It is important that residents not be hasty to remove ash trees but educate themselves about this pest between now and spring time 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. Now is also the time for residents to plan spring plantings of new trees on their property to help replace the ash trees that may eventually be lost.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Heidi Downer, director of marketing for the Parks and Recreation Department, at 816-513-7527.


City News Releases - 2012

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