The beetle that has infested much of the Northeastern United States has made its’ way to Kansas City, MO. The truth is, if we are just now seeing the beetle itself, that means it has already been here for two to four years. While not a threat to human or animal health, this beetle is destructive to the 4.6 million ash trees in the Kansas City region. So are our beautiful ash trees doomed?
Some areas in other cities have thrown in the towel and cut all the ash trees down. Other cities have actually paid money out of city budgets to save trees. Our advice is to consider alternatives before making any decisions. First of all, keeping your tree healthy and vigorous is of utmost importance. This means keeping them properly pruned, mulched, and watered and avoiding bark wounds to help them reduce the risk of any kind of insect attacks. Also, a healthy tree responds better to treatment. Call Grade A Tree today and we can come out inspect your trees and find a treatment.
If you decide to treat your ash tree, the two main factors are timing and placement. What measures you decide to use should depend on the timing of where EAB (Ember Ash Borer) is and what time of year it is. Most publications say wait until EAB (Ember Ash Borer) is found within 15 miles of your property before treating for EAB (Ember Ash Borer), or if your property is located within 15 miles of an EAB (Ember Ash Borer) quarantined area. What we would say is, depending on the time of year and how much you care about a specific ash tree can determine when you may want to treat the tree more so than your proximity to where EAB (Ember Ash Borer) has been found. EAB (Ember Ash Borer) is very difficult to track and control so no one can guarantee that EAB (Ember Ash Borer) isn’t closer than we think. One infected log transported from an infected area will be another neighborhood of dead ash trees in 2 years.
The other factor is the timing of treatments. They are most effective when the tree is carrying nutrients up the tree, therefore depending on the treatment, your tree can only effectively be treated from February through July, or during September. If you decide to wait on treating your tree, you may be taking a chance. By the time you’re able to effectively treat it, you may already have EAB. Although there are treatments to kill EAB after it has infested your tree, obviously it’s best to prevent EAB from ever doing any damage and weakening it by catching it beforehand. Chemical treatments are taken up through the tree the same way nutrients are. If damage prevents the nutrients from being taken up, the chemical treatment cannot be absorbed as well. Early treatment and prevention is best to insure protection. This isn’t a scare tactic to get people unnecessarily treating trees. It is insurance against EAB (Ember Ash Borer) and its’ unguaranteed at that. You’ll have to make your own decisions as to whether, when and how to treat your trees. Call us today and we will be happy to help you find a treatment for your trees!