Canadian Forest Service Publications

To treat or remove: an economic model to assist in deciding the fate of ash trees threatened by emerald ash borer. 2012. McKenney, D.W.; Pedlar, J.H. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 38(4):121-129.

Year: 2012

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 33849

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


Abstract. A model is presented to assist in deciding the fate of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) threatened by the arrival of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in North America. The model tracks ongoing treatment costs versus one-time costs associated with removal and replacement. All future values are discounted following standard economic practice. For each year over a period of interest, the net treatment gain/ loss is calculated, indicating the period of time over which a homeowner would be financially ahead/behind by treating the existing ash tree. The model was populated, with values that may be expected in Canadian conditions, where treatment options are more limited than in the United States. Optional model features include property value premiums, energy savings, runoff and pollution benefits, and ongoing maintenance costs. When these extended benefits and costs are included, positive treatment gains for a medium-sized ash persist for about 17 years. Negative values can be interpreted as a “break-even existence value,” an amount a homeowner would be required to pay in order to protect their ash if various other benefit flows fail to compensate the costs. An interactive version of the model is available online (