Should You Treat or Remove Your Ash Tree with EAB?

The Midwest currently faces a very real threat to a large portion of its public and private trees. An invasive and exotic pest known as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has already infested many ash trees and will soon infest all untreated ash if left untreated. EAB is a very serious pest and has a track record of killing all untreated ash trees in infested cities since it was initially discovered in the United States in 2002 near Detroit, Michigan.

EAB is now considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America. It has been killing ash trees in cities for several years now and it is widely accepted this pest will kill all untreated ash trees and will likely cost billions to cities, states, and homeowners.

“Emerald Ash Borer” by USDAgov / CC BY-ND 2.0

When to Remove Your Ash Tree

The decision whether or not to remove an infected ash tree is up to you. While there are a number of effective treatment options, they typically last only 1-2 years and need to be repeated for the life of the tree. Consider that treatments are not effective if more than 30% of the tree canopy is already dead.

Removing a beloved tree is a tough choice to face. We want to help you make an informed decision that is best for you and the health of your trees. Our certified arborists will guide you through a process that considers your budget and respects the sentimental nature of your trees.

When to Treat Your Ash Trees

When it comes to EAB, there is one big question for cities and homeowners alike: “Should I treat my trees to protect them, or should I remove them so dead trees don’t threaten other people or property?” For homeowners, there is a short list of steps to consider:

  • Check your property to see if you have ash trees. Check your trees now before you begin to see dieback.
  • Make some tough decisions about whether to remove the tree and replant, or treat the tree and protect it. A certified arborist can be a big help in quickly assessing the health of the ash and help you make a decision. Doing nothing will only delay the problem and will likely result in the tree’s death and possible injury or damage to nearby property.
  • Realize that most treatments require re-application at least every two years for the life of the ash tree. Ask yourself if you’re willing to keep up treatments if you decide to keep the tree. If not, it is recommended that the tree be removed.

Organic Treatment Options are Available

As with treatments for any type of ailment, you have options about what type of product you would like for us to use. All treatments we prescribe are very effective and recommended by researchers and experts in arboriculture. Organic EAB treatment options are available that is derived from neem seeds. The product, known as TreeAzin®, is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for organic use.

What is TreeAzin®?

TreeAzin® Systemic Insecticide is owned by the Canadian Forest Service and was developed in collaboration with BioForest, a Canadian forest research firm who holds its worldwide license. It fully complies with regulations in Ontario that restrict the use of pesticides for ornamental plants, including trees. TreeAzin® was permitted because of its organic nature and benign impacts on the environment.

TreeAzin® is currently used in Missouri by many arborists and municipalities. The City of St. Louis chose the organic treatment for street and park trees because of its safety and alignment with the city’s sustainability plan with a commitment to bees and pollinators. The St. Louis County Parks Department committed to its use in protecting healthy ash trees in its county parks.

Whether or not you decide to use an organic treatment option to protect your ash trees, rest assured that all EAB treatments available are considered safe and effective.

If you think you may have ash trees on your property, contact a certified arborist at Hansen’s Tree Service today to make an appointment for a tree assessment and a prescription for treatments that include an organic option.

Go DIY or Hire a Professional?

Should you decide to have your ash tree chemically treated to protect it, you have additional decisions to make. Namely, should you treat the tree yourself, or hire a professional? There are options for treating the tree yourself, but many of the products available to homeowners have limited success and may require some expertise to apply them correctly. Plus, handling pesticides can be risky.

A professional treatment prescribed by a Hansen’s certified arborist ensures that you are getting the best treatment for your ash tree.  Hansen’s has a staff of trained and licensed applicators that will insure treatments are safe and effective.

Do Not Leave Your Tree to Die

Making the choice to do nothing means that your ash tree will become infested and die. The US Forest Service says that ash mortality can approach 100% within six years of an area becoming infested. Dead and dying ash trees are very brittle and need to be removed quickly. For more information, The Morton Arboretum in Chicago provides good advice for homeowners removing their trees. Brittle trees are dangerous and can pose a threat to the safety of others.

Learn More About Hansen’s Tree Pest Treatment Services

Call Us Today at (636) 379-1830

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