Attack of the Emerald Ash Borer: Part 1

If you’re in some states, or regions, you’ve already experienced the devastation of the Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB. Here in my part of IL, we’ve been trying hard to prevent the infestation from destroying all the ash trees, but in some areas it’s already a lost cause. For example, I was driving my son to piano one night, a drive I’ve done for at least 10 years now, and I turned onto one block in the subdivision and every parkway tree had been cut down. Gone, every one of them thanks to EAB.

On a more personal note, the most important tree in my backyard is a beautiful 18 yr old Autumn Purple Ash. When we moved into the house, we gave a lot of thought to the trees on the property and planted a few new trees to provide beauty and shade. The Ash was the main tree that shades about half our house and the back patio area. We looked for a tree that grew quickly, had few known pests or diseases, could withstand being in a low wet area, and had a nice full shape. The ash was the perfect specimen. Until a few years ago

As soon as we knew the insect was in the area, we started treating the tree. At the time, the standard was to use a soil and foliage treatment twice a year. Then, last year, the infestation landed on the next block over so we knew it was only a matter of time, if not too late for our tree. Our village had a tree plan to deal with infestations in parkway trees and advice for homeowners, so I looked into that instead of just trusting our current tree care company. Sure enough, there were better treatments to use and I feel like I took control just at the right time. The tree still looked great last fall, when many trees in the area were beginning to look half dead. It’s very easy to get complacent and just trust what landscapers tell me.  Through the years, I’ve learned to question everyone.  Doing the research yourself can often times make a huge difference.

There is a multitude of websites that have details on how to spot infection, treat, etc. The Emerald Ash Borer site is one of the most comprehensive I’ve found.

Examples of some local ash trees infected with EAB:

IMG_2537 IMG_2538 IMG_2539

More tomorrow…..

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