Neighborhood News

Tree Diseases in Leawood Estates
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Ash trees in Leawood Estates are being impacted by Emerald Ash Borer (acronym EAB) infestations. Originally from northeastern Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer (Argils Planipennis) is a small bright metallic green beetle, smaller than a dime, that is capable of killing mature ash trees. The adults typically emerge from prior year infected trees in mid to late May. After mating, the females lay eggs under the tree bark of Ash trees. Upon hatching, the larvae then bore into the ash tree's vascular system disrupting the ability of the tree to transport water and nutrients...resulting in dieback and eventual death.
In Leawood Estates Home Association boundaries, in an effort to save as many trees as we can, we contract with a licensed arborist company (Arbor Masters) to inject high-value mature Ash trees along the street right-of-ways with a systemic insecticide. You may find a small tag on your Ash tree which indicates it has been designated for bi-annual injections. These treatments are completely safe for homeowners as the insecticides are carried completely inside the tree's vascular system. The HOA is only able to treat the trees within the right-of-way (about 15 feet from the curb). If you have ash trees on your property and would like to have Arbor Masters evaluate them for treatment, you may do so at the same rate that Leawood Estates Homes Association has negotiated.  You may contact Arbor Masters at (800) 256-4193 or go visit them at and be sure to tell them that you are a Leawood Estates Homes Association member.
If left untreated, diseased Ash trees will need to be removed including all wood debris (no firewood allowed).
Oak Wilt Disease
Oak Wilt is a fatal and fast-spreading disease that has the potential to affect the many beautiful oak trees located in Leawood Estates and surrounding neighborhoods. It is caused by the fungus Ceratocystis facacearum. This disease affects the vascular system of the tree, preventing the proper flow of water and nutrients, and eventually killing it. Although all oaks are susceptible to Oak Wilt, red oaks are especially susceptible to the disease. White oaks tend to develop symptoms more slowly and often recover, while red oaks usually die soon after infection.
How Oak Wilt Spreads
The Oak Wilt fungus is spread in one of two ways: Fungal spores are either transported to healthy trees by insects (especially beetles) feeding on the sap generated from broken or recently pruned limbs... or the fungus can travel from a diseased tree to an adjacent healthy one via underground root grafts.
Oak Wilt Signs and Symptoms
Often occurring in later spring or summer, symptoms can vary in different oak species. But signs that an oak is infested usually include the following:
  • Rapid discoloration of leaves
  • Wilted or curled leaves
  • Complete leaf drop that occurs by mid summer
  • Dead crowns (upper portions of the trees) or major limb dieback
  • Eventual death
Managing the Disease
Prevention is key with Oak Wilt disease, as there is no cure for the disease once a tree is infected. The good news is that that are effective preventative actions that can be taken by everyone... namely avoiding pruning oaks during the growing season (spring and summer) to reduce the incidence of fresh wounds attracting fungus-carrying insects. Oak trees that are already infected with Oak Wilt should be removed before the disease spreads to healthy trees. Feel free to contact us at 913-825-0001 if you feel your Oak street trees may be showing signs of Oak Wilt.