Emerald Ash Borer - What's Your Plan?

by John T. Gall, Certified Arborist/Municipal Specialist WI-0249AM

If you have green, white, blue or European ash trees growing on your property and you want to keep them from succumbing to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the window of time to protect them is quickly closing.  Untreated trees will die!  If you are waiting for EAB to officially be confirmed in your municipality before you make a management decision, the insect is already way ahead of you.  With each new EAB find, research has consistently shown that EAB has already been in the area for 3 to 5 years.  We must consider southeastern Wisconsin generally infested.  I firmly believe that all properties in this region are within a 15-mile radius of a known infestation.  If you want to save certain ash trees on your property and you have not yet begun a treatment program, now is the time.  Don’t wait until next year!  

Ash Tree Mortality in Wisconsin

The chart to the right shows the exponential rise in ash tree death.  The bulk of our region is sitting at year-five to year-six.  The explosion of untreated ash tree death is beginning.  If you want to check it out for yourself, tour the residential and rural areas of Franklin/Oak Creek or West Bend/Newburg.  These regions are sitting at year-seven or eight along the ash mortality curve.   I have personally seen the full impact of EAB devastation in both urban and rural areas of Dayton, Ohio and Indianapolis, Indiana.  Over 90% of untreated ashes are now dead!  Significant changes in the tree canopy have occurred.  Many of those residents were unprepared for what happened.

We have had the luxury of more planning time, a better understanding of proper dosing of treatment products and greater outreach to communities.  However, still too many people are largely unaware of the ramifications of EAB.        

With EAB pressure on the increase in our region, we are advising our clients to switch to a trunk injection with Emamectin Benzoate.  This trunk injection is showing a higher effectiveness rate than the soil injection treatments using Imidacloprid for providing satisfactory EAB control.  The Emamectin Benzoate treatment continues to show 99% effectiveness for two years, even in high EAB pressure areas. 

The biggest key to making your plan work for you is to have a professional out on your property right away to assess your ash trees.  Call your Wachtel Tree Science certified arborist today and schedule an appointment. 

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