An Ash Tree’s Story

ash tree

A healthy white ash tree shades Jim Rae’s home in London, Ontario

We know the story all too well…

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in Ontario in 2002. It is native to Asia and is believed to have arrived in North America via wood packaging or pallets. After establishing a foothold in the Detroit area, it crossed over into Windsor. By 2006, it had made its way to London, Ontario and has been racing across Canada and the United States since then.

Regulated area of Canada against EAB

Telltale S-shaped gallery under the bark of an ash tree - the mark of the EAB

Telltale S-shaped gallery under the bark of an ash tree – the mark of the EAB

In 2014, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) established a regulated area for EAB. To deter its spread, they prohibit the movement of ash wood or wood products. Hefty fines are the penalty, but a massive media effort also works to inform the public of the threat to ash trees from this invasive species. Unfortunately, millions of ash trees have already succumbed to this virulent insect. It can kill a tree in less than two years and leaves behind a dangerous threat to any nearby people or properties, due to the fragile nature of the trees once they are dead.

This nightmare need not be the story everywhere though.

There is something you can do. And it is available from CLC Tree Services, right here in London, Ontario. While the city has been cutting down affected Fraxinus for the last several years, CLC Tree Services has offered TreeAzin® treatments as a preventive measure for ash trees against the EAB.

Jim’s Ash Tree: A Success Story

60' tall white ash

60′ tall white ash in London, ON

So when Jim Rae heard rumblings that the EAB was heading his way, he contacted Curt McCallum. A 60′ tall white ash tree stood in his backyard and had been there almost as long as the nearly 70-year-old house. The tree had survived several owners, a pool’s installation at its base, and the building of a tree fort in its limbs (for Jim’s children, now grown and gone). There was no way he wanted to see the tree lost, if anything could be done about it.

Curt’s suggestion – TreeAzin® treatments needed to be initiated.

No D-shaped holes mark this white ash. Only the telltale sign of TreeAzin treatments

No D-shaped holes mark this white ash. Only the lingering sign of TreeAzin® treatments

That was over 7 years ago. Today, the ash tree still stands proudly shading the house, pool, and several other nearby trees. Green leaves flutter in the breeze high in the lush canopy of this thriving ash. The only holes in the trunk of this Fraxinus are the ones left by the TreeAzin® treatments, which get re-administered every two years. You can’t find the EAB’s D-shaped exit holes in this ash and for that, Jim is grateful.

Lush, green canopy of a white ash tree

Lush, green canopy of a white ash tree

Next year will be the ash tree’s fourth TreeAzin® treatment, but Jim doesn’t begrudge the cost in the least. In fact, CLC Tree Services also added cabling to the tree last year and a few years before. Retaining the majestic ash tree is worth it for this homeowner though.

In a neighbourhood with tree-lined streets, children’s names etched into curbs, and the occasional white picket fence decorating otherwise fence-less properties, a thriving ash tree adds a touch of hope for the world at large. Sometimes we just have to work a little harder to ensure the world and its treasures will be there for the next generation to enjoy.

We are happy to report that this ash tree’s story is a happy one.

Sydney - name in curb


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And this is why we have tree services. I don’t know how we have gone this long without having a serious pest, or pandemic threaten the livelihood of trees, or the ecology of an area in North America for so long. All I can say is, I am glad there is a solution to this in the form of what the tree services are offering.

Eric |


Unfortunately, the #EAB are just one horror story for trees. Asian Longhorn beetles, dutch elm disease, gypsy moths, anthracnose and more threaten trees across North America. Having something in the arsenal to fight them though gives up hope.

The ash tree in this story is one success amongst many, many dead ash trees. Where there is one success, more can follow though. And we are willing to fight for our trees one tree at a time as necessary.

Good luck tending the trees in your part of the world Eric. Thanks for stopping in.

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Published by
July 30, 2015 4:27 pm