The plight of ash trees in London, Ontario is not breaking news. The emerald ash borer (EAB) crossed into Canada near Windsor in 2002 and has been marching across Ontario since then. Every year the spread becomes larger, despite the many preventive measures taken to stop the EAB. Despite the uphill battle, CLC Tree Services continues to do our part to protect ash trees in our area.
Fight EAB: Consider Ash Injections
One of the tools to protect your tree against this invasive species is an ash injection treatment with TreeAzin. TreeAzin effectively kills 95% of the larvae existent in the treated ash tree being. It also helps to reduce the number of eggs laid and those which are laid are far less viable. While TreeAzin treatments are only available through professional licensed pesticide applicators, CLC Tree Services has been one of those licensed providers since 2008.
As noted though, this story isn’t new. CLC has been administering ash injections for years, but our job is not through. Treatment helps to prevent your ash tree from getting infected by the EAB in the year treated, but the story keeps going. You need to retreat ash trees every two years when EAB populations are low; during the first five years. As EAB populations increase, so too must treatment schedules.
At present, London is in the middle of a high infestation. EAB populations are through the roof and as such, treatments need to be aggressive. The providers of our insecticide therefore recommend that treatments at this time run for three consecutive years. Once EAB populations decrease, treatment schedules can again return to a biennial level. Without continued treatments though, your ash tree will be at risk of infection, and, because of the veracity of the EAB’s appetite, death.
While you might begrudge the cost of treating your ash tree every year, you need to weigh it against the alternative. Without treatment, your ash tree will die. There have been no other viable alternatives to protect ash trees from EAB. Once an ash tree dies, it becomes dry and brittle extremely quickly, making it dangerous to any buildings or structures nearby. As branches and limbs can easily snap, it also makes removal that much more dangerous and expensive. Safety experts recommend that tree service workers do NOT risk climbing infected ash trees. That means more equipment (like bucket trucks or cranes) is needed for tree removal jobs, thus increasing the price. And once your tree has been removed, you are then faced with the task of either replacing your tree or living without it, and the benefits you received from it (ie, lower utility costs, increased property value, personal enjoyment, to name a few perks). Even with a replacement tree, it can take upwards of 30 years before you regain the benefits you may have enjoyed from a mature tree.
So what you need to ask yourself is – do you have the time to wait?
The story is not over, but it doesn’t need to end badly. CLC Tree Services begins ash injections in the late spring to early summer. If you have an ash tree which has been treated before, contact our office to schedule your next treatment. If you aren’t sure whether your ash tree is infected, have one of our tree service experts visit for an inspection and to discuss your options.
When you weigh the difference between protecting a tree and losing it, you might find the benefits outweigh the cost.