Canadian Forest Service Publications

Estimates of the potential cost of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in Canadian municipalities. 2012. McKenney, D.W.; Pedlar, J.; Yemshanov, D.; Lyons, D.B.; Campbell,K.L.; Lawrence, K. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 38(3):81-91.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 33763

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive phloem-feeding insect causing extensive mortality to ash (Fraxinus sp.) in North America. Economic costs associated with EAB-related mortality of street and backyard trees in Canadian urban areas were estimated over a 30-year time horizon. The approach employed a simple spread model to approximate EAB arrival times at each community based on three maximum spread rates: slow (~10 km/year), medium (~30 km/year), and fast (~50 km/year). Costs are estimated for four discount rates (0%, 2%, 4%, and 10%) and three treatment rates (0%, 10%, and 50% of trees treated with an insecticide). Ash density along urban roads was estimated from a variety of sources, including a recently developed survey that allows for rapid assessment of street tree compositions. Based on the 30 km/year spread rate, a 4% discount rate, and a 10% treatment rate, the present value of the costs is estimated to be approximately CAD $524 million (2010 currency rate); this value increases to roughly $890 million when costs associated with backyard trees are included. These estimates are conservative because they focus only on damage to street (and backyard) trees; nonetheless, their magnitude suggests considerable justification for investments to slow the spread of EAB in Canada.