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Ash Tree Preservation Despite Beetle Infestation

Ryan Lawn & Tree offers expertise in treating for Emerald Ash Borers in the metro.

With over 4 million Ash trees in the Kansas City metro at risk of dying from the Emerald Ash Borer, it would be easy to simply give up on the tree species.

Yet Ryan Lawn & Tree has been on the frontlines of treating trees for the beetle since it was first found in the Kansas City area in 2012. In fact, Ryan Lawn & Tree has a 90 to 95 percent success rate in saving Ash trees with their injection treatment; providing a means for the future of such trees in the area.

“We are seeing fantastic results with our injection,” said Jeremy Christiansen, plant health care department manager.

Jeremy has been instrumental in Ryan Lawn & Tree’s efforts in Ash tree preservation, and his work has been critical to the company’s success in the area.

The exotic Emerald Ash Borer beetle was first found in the United States outside of Detroit in 2002, but was likely their years previously, Jeremy says. It has since spread throughout many parts of the country and is now posing a threat to the Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, and Tulsa areas.

The adult beetles themselves don’t cause significant damage to the trees, but when the beetles lay their eggs the larvae hatch and make s-shaped galleries just under the bark. This activity of the larvae disrupts the flow of water and nutrients throughout the tree tissue, which ultimately kills the Ash tree.

Jeremy says, “if you want to keep your Ash tree, it needs to be treated”.

“At least in the Kansas City metro, I wouldn’t say we are ahead of it,” Jeremy says. “If you have an Ash tree, we are probably not preventing it at this point. We have found it everywhere in the metro. We assume every tree has been under attack for a year or more. It has spread like wildfire.”

While Wyandotte County is most heavily affected region of Kansas City, all cities in the area have pockets of infestation. Additionally, all types of Ash trees are vulnerable.

If you have an Ash tree, Jeremy recommends having a Ryan Lawn & Tree arborist come out to determine if it is worth saving. Not all trees are worth saving, and some might need to be removed. If preservation is recommended, treatment should begin immediately. The injection lasts for two years and is administered by drilling small holes in the trees.

Emerald Ash Borer can often be difficult to detect as the infestation is just underneath the bark, but some of the signs include bark splitting or an increase in dead branches throughout the tree canopy.

Jeremy says it is likely all Ash Trees will need to be treated indefinitely. He says the infestation will likely peak as all untreated Ash trees die, but the pest will be here to stay for the long-term.

If you are worried about your Ash Tree, contact a Ryan Lawn & Tree Certified Arborist today and schedule your Free tree assessment.


By Allison Gibeson, Local Writer.

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