Roeland Park approves removal of 43 ash trees in R Park due to Emerald Ash Borer

Two sides of R Park are lined with ash trees that are  marked to come down.
Two sides of R Park are lined with ash trees that are marked to come down.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has already taken a toll in northeast Johnson County since its presence was confirmed here in June. Some cities have started executing plans to remove ash trees in the public right-of-way or on city property. Now Roeland Park is the latest to approve ash tree removal before the trees die from the infestation.

The presence of the destructive EAB was discovered in a trap in R Park in June. Ironically, nearly all of Roeland Park’s ash trees that are on city property are located in R Park. Two sides of the park are extensively lined with ash trees. This week the city council approved a contract to remove 43 of the ash trees in the park.

The more than $17,000 in tree removal will begin shortly after the first of the year and they will all come down in a 45-day period. The south and east sides of the park are a long line of ash trees, almost all of which are now marked with a red X.

Other cities, including Prairie Village, have begun grading trees for health and removing ash trees that are the city’s responsibility. The collection of trees in R Park likely represents the most concentrated group of public trees to be taken down.

In conjunction with the construction of the walking trail, the city has received grant money to plant new trees in the park along the trail.

The EAB, which has destroyed ash stands across the country, was first confirmed in Johnson County in July 2013 when it was found in a trap at the Johnson County landfill.