EAB in Council Bluffs

With the confirmation of infestation in at least 22 Iowa counties, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation in Council Bluffs is inevitable. The urban tree canopy in Council Bluffs will be significantly impacted by the EAB without proper intervention.

The City of Council Bluffs has reviewed and analyzed several community plans and best practices in preparation for the EAB’s arrival in Council Bluffs. Representatives from the Department of Parks & Recreation have driven the city’s streets and visited city parks to inventory, characterize and map all public, non-forested ash trees.

The Department discovered roughly 1,260 ash trees within non-forested areas of the city – all of which will be lost without treatment – and has estimated the cost of treatment, removal and replacement for each tree.

After researching chemical treatment viability and options, and consulting with local tree groups and city departments, the Department has developed a preliminary plan that will save 97 percent of the community’s public ash tree population.

Council Bluffs EAB Approach

  • Remove 29 (unhealthy) trees in Fall 2015
  • Treat 190 (the healthiest) trees in Spring 2016
  • Treat remaining 1041 trees once EAB is spotted within 15 miles

Trees to be removed will be listed publicly. If the tree is a street tree, adjacent property will receive a door tag indicating removal, with a number to call for more information. Trees with public opposition to their removal will be considered to remain until infestation has been observed in that tree. The Department will utilize the City’s competitive bidding system to remove trees.

Trees to be treated will also be listed publicly. Treatment will occur every two years. Trees with public opposition to treatment will be considered to remain untreated until infestation is observed within 15 miles. The Department will utilize the City’s competitive bidding system to treat trees. The treatment system used will depend on best practices, location, limitations and other factors.


A number of trees will need to be replanted to mitigate the impact of the EAB in Council Bluffs. To ensure species diversity, all ash trees will be replaced with species appropriate to their locations. Various planting options, on public and private property, will be evaluated, cost-established and provided recommendation. Trees Forever has committed to assisting the City with reforestation of the urban canopy.

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