Evaluating Restoration Capacity and Costs of Managing
the Emerald Ash Borer with a Web-based Cost Calculator
in Urban Forests
Clifford S. Sadof, Lindsey Purcell, Forrest J. Bishop, Carlos Quesada, and Zhi-Wei Zhang
Abstract: Described here is the development of a web-based cost calculator for projecting management costs and restoration, during a planned response to an emerald ash borer invasion in the City of Indianapolis, IN, U.S. Forest sizes, measured as the sum of tree diameters, and costs of managing urban ash trees were projected under various management scenarios over a 25-year period. The study authors illustrate how a city can use local information to compare management plans. Although the simple strategy of treating all ash trees provided the lowest annual cost and produced the largest forest, this option was ultimately the most expensive. Simply removing ash trees and replacing them with resistant trees restored the forest to its initial size after 25 years. However, after taking five years to complete tree removal and replacement, the initial ash forest was reduced to a mere 27% of its original size. When this management plan was modified, by protecting trees in the median size class with insecticides, the restoration forest was below 50% of the initial size for two years but at a discounted cost that was only 6% greater than replacing all trees. The authors of the study describe how the cost calculator can be used to address the unique local attributes of urban forests.
Keywords: Emerald Ash Borer; Forest Restoration; Management Costs