EAB Management or Property Management?

by Dave Scharfenberger, Board-Certified Master Arborist WI-0131B

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is certainly starting to appear in the headlines. Cities are doing treatments and many people are selling cures. Anyone who has anything to do with outside maintenance seems to be getting into the ash treatment game.

At Wachtel we have a different brand from other companies out there. Our professional focus is taking care of your property, not just selling a service for an individual tree. Our goal is the stewardship of your property (be it one tree or a forest!). We are always working to find the best way to treat EAB (or any other problem) and give you all of the facts so you can decide what is best for you.

Here are some questions we have been hearing:

  • Will the State come and cut my trees down even if I treat them? No, eradication cutting is a technique that did not work.
  • Is treatment effective? Yes, while nothing in nature is 100%, a lot of research has been focused on the insect and better answers are coming from researchers. We can gain control that is comparable to any other boring insect we treat. Like other treatments, it can take awhile for full protection, so it is best to act soon. It is also critical that the proper rates be used.
  • Why isn’t Wachtel using a trunk injection when other companies are? Isn’t that best? While it is “high tech” and “cool” to use some of the new equipment, trunk injection wounds a tree. This causes tree stress and potential decline. Our goal is to protect the tree! It should not be done if there are other options (Wachtel does many tree injections but only where appropriate). The new trunkinjected product is called Tree-age. If research this year allows them to update the label so it gives three years of control, we will seriously consider switching over to this product. Right now the label says two years, and in our opinion, to be injecting every two years is bad for a tree. If anyone is offering three years of control for EAB, they are going against the label and breaking the law.
  • Should I be treating my ash now? The state says “yes” if you are in Ozaukee and Washington counties or within 15 miles of an infestation. They also admit they do not have a very reliable trapping method to know where EAB is. For this reason, we feel all high value ash trees should be treated.
  • Do I need to treat all of my ash trees? Of course not, treat the trees that are important to you and add value to your landscape. We can treat one tree as effectively as a group. There is no advantage one way or another. We find that many green ash are looking poor due to other reasons and may actually make a property look better by being gone!
  • What is the best long-term solution? With a high percentage of our clients we are recommending planting, along with or instead of treatment. Getting new trees started (especially with species that you and your neighbors do not have, for diversity) is the best way to guarantee a future with trees.

You can be sure that we will be watching the research and adjusting our treatments, as a lot will be changing in the coming years. Our goal is to partner with you to have a beautiful property with healthy trees. Do you want to hire an “ambulance chaser” working on the latest fad, or have one of Wachtel Tree Science’s 23 Certified Arborists work with you?

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