Ash Trees – The Time For Treatment Is Now!
Written by: RJ Busch, Certified Arborist WI-0985A
Spring has come and gone signaling another growing season. As the trees develop new leaves, the insects that feed on them also emerge to begin their cycle of life all over again. In the case of emerald ash borer (EAB), they have been spending the winter as larvae (similar to caterpillars but living in the tree), will transform into pupae a little faster in spring, and will finally emerge as adults beginning in May. They continue to emerge for most of summer. The adults quickly mate and lay eggs on ash trees to start the next generation of EAB.
There are ash trees that still seems promising and do not look infested. However, if eggs have been laid on them in the last few years, accumulated damage will have been caused by the larvae eating their way through the wood and it may have reached a point where the leaf-out by the tree could be hindered. Some branches may not leaf out at all.
This makes choosing ash tree candidates for protective treatment more challenging. One must have the aid of seeing the current year’s leaves develop fully to help read the tree’s current energy level, and the projected amount of damage the tree may be carrying. It is possible to save trees with some amount of accumulated damage. If the tree looks great in mid-summer and does not have any complicating factors such as old trunk or bark damage; then it may be a good candidate for treatment. There is risk in treating any ash tree, for damage already done inside of it may manifest well after treatment is started. This damage also affects treatment effectiveness. It is amazing that it can take five years or more for this damage to be noticed, even by trained eyes. This is one of the great difficulties in convincing ash owners that the danger is so imminent.
Yet, there are many ash trees that could be saved. Saving them is work for a trained Certified Arborist who can better discard those trees that are not good candidates for treatment. Focusing the budget on selecting trees that are good candidates will help preserve the diversity and integrity of many landscapes. Better decisions for removal and replacement can also be made with the help of a Certified Arborist.
The years of adding new ash trees are winding down fast. By the time this is painfully obvious to your average tree owner, it will be too late. Being proactive has never been so imperative. Call us today to arrange an assessment of your ash tree collection.