Get off my Ash … a sad update

Copyrighted diseased ash treeIn early June, I wrote about the potential for the Emerald Ash Borer to destroy all the trees along my street – which are ALL Ash trees.

At the time I wrote the article, one of the trees along the street was ‘suspect’. But this lone tree has always deteriorated in the July/August period. For the past 4 years, its leaves turn brown and drop. By the end of August, it was mostly leafless. Since it seemed to be a different variety of ash, I attributed it to some disease.

Well, this year it didn’t leaf out in the spring and by May, it was sprouting an abundance of leaves along the trunk. Copyrighted ash borer larvae trailsThis is usually a sign that a tree is in the last throes of life … or death as in this case.

Yesterday I noticed that some of the bark had been pulled away from the trunk. Sure enough, the tunnels made by the larva were visible. I wondered if this check had been made by fellow residents, or if indeed the city Parks & Rec folks had done it.

Copyrighted ash borer D-holeThen I looked at the trunk to see if I could see any of the “D-shaped” exit holes that the adult female makes after she lays her eggs. It wasn’t hard to find the hole as it was larger than I expected.

OH, DRAT!!!

This is just so sad. Our trees have been growing for 12 years, and our street trees have begun to form a canopy over the street. I suppose it won’t be long until I come home some day to find all the trees gone. Then we’ll have to start all over with new little saplings planted by the city.

To learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer, the Department of Natural Resources is a good web site for complete information.

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