A bug the size of a grain of rice has had a major impact on ash trees in our community, and the City is investing in steps to stop the problem before it gets worse.
By 2023, there will be approximately 8,000 ash street trees left in Overland Park.
The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species that feeds specifically on ash species, will kill all of those trees off.
The City has been removing street trees affected by the emerald ash borer as residents request removal.
Street trees are trees on public property, generally in the space about 11 feet back from the curb.
Forestry crews are currently able to remove around 500 ash trees annually, meaning it would take about 16 years to address safety and aesthetic concerns surrounding the dying trees.
Beginning in 2023, Overland Park will shift toward large-scale ash street tree removal and replanting.
In 2023, the new program will identify neighborhoods that are lined with ash street trees, and will call for clear-cutting all of those ash street trees.
They City’s goal is to maintain as much of the tree canopy as possible. While we never hope to cut down a tree, this program is an efficient way to handle the inevitable destruction of all ash trees in Overland Park.
Removal services will include cutting the tree down and grinding the stump.
The City will plant a new tree for every tree that was removed.
In order to promote growth, new trees must be placed several feet away from the previous tree.
If there is limited space at the residential location, the City will plant a replacement tree at public spaces like parks and trails.
If you live in a neighborhood where streets are lined with ash trees, please check back to this webpage more information about whether or not your neighborhood will be part of the large-scale ash tree removal program.
If your neighborhood is not lined with ash trees, but you have an ash street tree that is dying, the City may be able to help. Street trees are trees on public property, generally in the space about 11 feet back from the curb. Submit an OPCares ticket to request an inspection.
In order to promote diversity of the tree canopy, new trees will be planted from an updated approved street tree species list.
Maple trees currently make up 35 percent of our street tree canopy. To prevent future large-scale losses to Overland Park’s street tree canopy, the City is no longer permitting the planting of maple trees in the public right-of-way.
The City forester has eliminated maple species from the list, and added new species like hackberry and tulip poplar.