How To Protect Your Ash Tree

The city will allow you to treat your ash tree protecting it from the Emerald Ash Borer after obtaining a free Street Tree Work permit thereby taking it off the removal list.

The following are the steps to follow to save your ash street tree:

  1. Call the Urban Forestry section at 861-9070 and request a Public Tree Work Permit application.  They will send it to you by mail or drop it off at your home if they have someone in the area.
  2. Decide if you want to treat the tree yourself or hire a professional tree service to do it. The two most common methods of treatment are by soil drench, which you can do yourself, or trunk injection, which must be done by a licensed professional.  The pesticide is spread systemically by the tree itself as it transports nutrients throughout its branches.
  3. Treatment is best done in the spring (May to mid-June in this area) after budbreak and the tree displays leaves.  It can also be done in the fall (September/October) before the leaves turn color and drop off.
  4. If a tree has lost 50% or more of its leaf canopy from EAB infestation, it will not likely recover and will completely die becoming a hazard which necessitates its prompt removal.  Trees that have some canopy loss may not recover the first year after treatment, but studies have shown that they may recover the second year.  Trees that show no canopy loss will benefit the most from treatment by protecting them from becoming infested.  Depending on the treatment method and type of pesticide used, treatment must be done every year or two for the lifetime of the tree.
  5. Determine your trees Diameter at Breast Height (DBH is 4½ feet above the ground) by measuring the circumference of the tree and divide the number of inches by 3.14.  This information goes on the permit application
  6. Submit your application for a Public Tree Work Permit and Urban Forestry will return a copy of the approved permit to you.  They will also re-mark the tree and attach a small disk with a tracking number on the street side of the tree indicating that the tree is being treated and it will not be removed unless it dies and becomes a hazard.
  7. If you plan to hire a professional to treat your tree, it is recommended that you obtain estimates from several companies.  Treatment prices in Cincinnati vary widely from $5 to $15 per inch of trunk diameter.
  8. Trees larger than 18 inches DBH are best treated by a professional using the trunk injection method.
  9. If you plan to treat the tree yourself using the soil drench method, the pesticide for Emerald Ash Borers is available at local hardware stores or major retail chains such as Home Depot or Lowes and is modestly priced.
    1. Purchase the quantity needed based on your tree’s DBH.  The product label will tell you how much is needed and how to use it.  Some products also contain tree fertilizer.
    2. Mix the product with water as per the label directions and drench the soil around the base of the tree.
    3. It should be noted that the soil drench products are most effective before the tree has become infested. Studies have shown that efficacy rates decline with a high level of EAB beetle infestation in an area.
  10. Save your product sales receipt or the tree service invoice and submit it to Urban Forestry.  Your treatment expenses are considered a tax deductible donation to the City and they will send you a letter of acknowledgement for your tax purposes.
  11. If you have other ash trees on your property, you should consider protecting them with pesticide treatments and hopefully avoid the impending cost of removal if they become infested and die.
  12. For extensive details on university studies about the Emerald Ash Borer and treatment options, visit the following websites:,, or
  13. It is expected that even currently healthy ash trees will become infested and die unless treated to protect them from the Emerald Ash Borer.

About half of the savable ash street trees in Hyde Park have been adopted by the abutting homeowner and are being treated.  Help keep our community green by adding yours to the list by following the above steps.

If you have any questions, you may call Carl, Chairman of the Street Tree Committee on (513) 900 9141.

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