Ash Trees Are Dying. How Can We Stop It?

Question: What is the difference between the Emerald Ash Borer that is destroying the ash trees today, and the Elm Bark beetle that destroyed the elm trees several years ago? We treated our elm trees without success. Will treatment of our ash trees have the same result? – Rick

Dutch Elm Disease DamageEmerald Ash Borer DamageAnswer: That is a great question. The situation we’re facing with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is very similar to the problem we faced with the American Elm trees. With the elm trees, the Elm Bark beetle would eat on the elm trees and infect the tree with the Dutch Elm Disease. This disease infected, and killed, almost every elm in the country.

While EAB is as destructive to ash trees as the Elm Bark beetle was to elms, our protection situation with EAB is different. The treatment to protect the elm trees from the Dutch Elm disease did not arrive until almost all the elm trees were already dead. With EAB, we already have an effective method of protecting the millions of ash trees still alive in North America, but we must be proactive in doing so. Once signs of EAB infestation occur, the likelihood of saving that tree diminishes greatly.

The Ryan treatment for EAB is an injection application that lasts for two full years. But what we still don’t know is if a single protection application will be able to last longer once all the unprotected trees are dead and gone. Over time, the ash trees in China have actually developed a resistance to EAB, allowing for a co-existence among the beetle and the trees. So will our ash trees and the EAB co-exist in North America at some point in the future? Unfortunately, we just don’t know.

Like I tell everyone, information is free, and a Ryan Pro will give you an honest opinion of what to do with your trees.

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Dr. Rodney St. John

Dr. Rodney has a Ph.D. in Horticulture, plus more than 20 years’ experience in the lawn and garden industry. He loves to help people grow grass and teach them how to properly care for their landscape. Have a question of your own? Click Here.

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