EAB Update: April 2018

Blog Category: Tree Care
April 18, 2018 by John Griffiths, Master Arborist
tree with emerald ash borer damage

Emerald ash borer (EAB) was first detected in the Des Moines metro area in 2015. The number of already infested trees that our International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists find has grown every year since. With historical information from states east of us as a guide, we expect to see a large number of dead trees over the next few years. Tree care experts have learned a lot from how Michigan and Ohio handled the outbreak 15 years ago.

To maintain protection, it is very important to inject the trees on a two-year rotation. Insecticides used for treatment vary greatly.  At Wright Outdoor Solutions, we use a product trade called TREE-äge, which has been shown in university studies to be the product of choice. Using the historical data mentioned earlier, we are expecting to experience peak insect activity for the next eight to nine years. Once all unprotected trees die, the food source will be gone, decreasing the EAB population, but not completely eradicating it. Injections are still recommended in the states to the east of us, but are now on a three to four year rotation since their peak activity has subsided. The peak pressure will not last forever, but with today’s technologies, the insect likey will, requiring ongoing protection.

If you have been waiting and you value your ash tree, we encourage you not to wait much longer. TREE-äge does show some curative properties, but after enough damage is done to the tree, it can’t be saved. Removing dead ash trees can be very expensive because they become very brittle once they die and are not safe to climb. A large removal in a backyard area with a crane typically starts around $10,000 and increases from there. If you plan to treat your ash tree with a retail product purchased at the store, note that those treatment options work well on  small diameter ash trees (less than 10 inches), but are not very effective on larger trees.

If you have not already treated your ash tree, we urge you to take action. Trees add value to your property, contribute to energy savings inside the home, provide shade, beauty and much more. If you have an ash tree that is not yet affected, utilize the free National Tree Benefit Calculator to help determine the value street-side trees add to a property.

If you are interested in preventive treatments for your ash trees, give us a call at 515.987.0800 or request a quote online. Remember to always have your trees examined and worked on by an ISA Certified Arborist, as they are specifically trained in tree care. For more information on EAB, click here.