The ash tree has been a beloved part of backyard landscaping for decades, owing to its shade, natural beauty, and hardy disposition. Growing in yards, parks, and communities across the nation, ash trees are a part of the American landscape and they are currently under attack. The emerald ash borer, an invasive species from Asia which destroys green, black, white, black, and blue species of ash, has already been responsible for the destruction of more than half a million of America’s ash trees.
When infested, ash trees display a number of characteristics which are precursors to the ultimate fate of untreated, infested trees. Ash trees infested by emerald ash borers might have woodpecker holes from birds attempting to extract ash borer larvae. They also might display D shaped holes where adult ash borers have exited the tree. Leaves may appear wilted and yellow, with thinning occurring especially on the tree’s top third. Shoots may also appear at the tree base, below dead portions of the tree. Though these symptoms in and of themselves are undesirable, the end result of leaving an infested tree untreated is death within two to four years of infestation.
Homeowners who observe such characteristics in their ash trees don’t need to call the tree removal service, however. Ash tree disease caused by ash borer infestation is treatable. Emerald ash borer treatment comes in the form of an insecticide which should be applied in May or early June of each year. Most ash borer control products require one ounce of product for every inch of tree trunk circumference and should be poured at the base of the tree. Though small trees may require only one application, larger trees might require two years of application. Trees that were heavily infested before product application are less likely to rebound, so it is critically important for homeowners to remain vigilant about the ash trees on their properties.
Though insecticides available at local home and garden stores may be helpful for emerald ash borer control, stronger products are available through tree care professionals who, as licensed arborists, are qualified to administer treatments that are unavailable to nonprofessionals. Many landscaping companies are licensed to administer emerald ash borer treatment and can help save trees from infestation.
The most important thing for homeowners to remember is to watch their ash trees closely, so that emerald ash borer treatment can be administered at the first sign of infestation. As long as they are wary, the ash tree doesn’t have to disappear from America’s lawns.