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March 29, 2023

Protect Your Valuable Ash Trees

You can protect your valuable ash trees. Sure, the emerald ash borer (EAB) is an insidious scourge among these beautiful shade trees, and some owners have given up and just written them off.  However, you don’t have to!

Ash is a tree that has graced many a city and suburban street. Ash has been the wood of choice for baseball bats. They deserve a better fate than a chain saw when they suffer from an EAB attack. And those trees the EAB hasn’t found yet can continue giving you pleasure and increasing the value of your property if they receive preventive treatments.

If you have an ash tree, I urge you to take preventive action by having us apply a systemic treatment now. This is when the treatment is most effective, and it will last for two years. If you wait until after the emerald ash borer strikes, you’ll need an annual application to control the pest. Emerald ash borer control is not a do-it-yourself job. The most effective control material is restricted to state licensed pesticide applicators, and using anything else is a waste of money.

EAB larvae have been boring “galleries” inside the tree. The galleries disrupt the tree’s vascular system, causing the tree to decline until it dies. Soon the larvae will pupate and the little, metallic green adults will chew “D” shaped holes to the outside. The adults have only one purpose. That’s to mate and start the next generation on its road to destruction. After the female has made indentations in the bark of an ash tree and deposited an egg in each indentation, she will die. The male dies right after mating. As soon as the eggs hatch, the new larvae begin boring into the tree and take over where the last generation left off.

Control may be achieved on trees that have been attacked but only if the destruction is limited to a quarter to one third of the tree. One of our Plant Health Care professionals can inspect your ash tree(s) and make treatment recommendations. From a purely financial standpoint, preventive treatments can be made for a good, long time for the same amount that it costs to remove a dead ash tree and replace it.

Remember, too, if you enjoy wood fires in your firepit, buy your firewood only where you’ll burn it. Not only does it reduce the spread of this insidious pest; it’s the law.