A Glimpse of Hope for Ash Trees

Ashes to ashes?

A glimpse of hope

 As most of you are aware of by now, emerald ash borer (EAB), is on its path in Wisconsin to destroy all ash trees that they come across. Doom and gloom has been the message since the insects’ discovery in Detroit in 2002. As it spread, researches fears were confirmed, EAB would ruthlessly kill every ash tree. Now that the dust is finally settling at the origin of the EAB introduction, researchers are finding some lingering ash trees that have survived the attack. How can this be and what does it mean?

 The U.S. Forest Service and the University of Ohio researchers are cautiously optimistic that they may have found ash trees that are EAB resistant. The lingering ash trees are now being reproduced for testing. The next step is to see if there are genetic mutation that makes the surviving trees less palatable than all other ash trees. Then the trees must be grown and field-tested against a heavy EAB population. If everything goes according to plan there is hope that in the future we may still be able to have ash trees planted in our landscapes.

 This is the first glimpse that ornamental ash will remain a part of our yards, but the lingering ash research is far from done and it will be many years until a resistant ash is available to the public. This means for the time being we must remain vigilant against EAB. Less than 1 in 1000 trees are found to have any remote resistance.

 If you currently have an ash tree it is important you continue to monitor its health, especially if it resides in an area of confirmed EAB infection.  The best thing you can do to combat EAB and keep your ash trees is to have the tree injected with an insecticide specifically designed for EAB. This will only work if injections start before the tree is severely infected. If you are looking to have your tree removed that option is available but we recommend planting a new species of tree to replace the removed one. It is important to note that the longer you wait to take action the more costly the work will be as dead trees are more hazardous to everyone, especially tree workers.

 For more information on what can be done with your ash trees please call Hoppe Tree Service and speak with a Certified Arborist about your options. We use all the latest tools and knowledge available to us to ensure that you get the most advance recommendations possible.


Written by John Wayne Farber

Certified Arborist WI-877A

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