Ash trees are common in yards and along streets, but they are being decimated throughout the United States and parts of Canada by the ruthlessly-harmful pest called the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Homeowners and municipalities have been forced to remove millions of dead or dying ash trees, while many have to decide exactly what to do when an infestation occurs.
The EAB is a beetle that is native to northeastern Asia. It was probably brought into the US from cargo ships or airplanes carrying solid wood packing material from Asia around 2002. As of August 2017, it was found in 31 states, as well as the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
EAB is steadily killing hundreds of millions of ash trees across North America. It has triggered quarantines to prevent the movement of infected trees, untreated ash tree firewood, chips larger than one inch, and nursery stock from areas where infestations have occurred.
Wherever EAB infestations spread, researchers believe that these beetles will kill virtually all ash trees. It has already killed hundreds of millions of ash trees, at an equally high cost to property owners, nurseries and forest product businesses.
If your area is infested by EAB, what can you do? First, determine whether or not you have ash trees on your property. The most common types of ash trees in this country are the green and white ash. Identifying features include:
• They both have leaves that are eight to twelve inches long with five to nine staked leaflets
• The bark of young white ash is light gray in color; the bark of older trees are thick, firm and narrow-ridged
• The bark of a green ash is not as firm as the white, and it has distinct horizontal cracks with plate-like ridges
• The white ash grows to between 70 and 80 inches; the green is slightly smaller, at 50 to 60 inches
What Can You Do?
Your ash trees should be treated if EAB is reported within 10-15 miles of your area. Examples of infestation symptoms include:
• Woodpecker activity and damage on live trees
• Bark splits
• Exit holes Lawn Doctor can help you assess conditions in your area and the best prevention and treatment plans to save your ash trees.
Did You Know?
Many ash trees have been valued for their timber, and this is true of the green and white ash. The wood of both species is strong yet lightweight. Some of the uses of white ash include:
• Baseball bats
• Tennis and other racket frames
• Paddles and oars
• Hockey sticks
• The handles of rakes, shovels, hoes, and other agricultural tools
Contact your local Lawn Doctor today for more information on how we can help save your ash trees.