The HMEG members at the April meeting discussed how treating a tree could be done in a community fashion. For example, if there is one valuable ash tree that shades many backyards, or neighbors together want to stagger the boulevard losses on their block, folks could together cover the cost of treatment. (Note, St. Paul's Forestry Dept. should be contacted if treating a boulevard tree is being considered)
Also note that treatment is not 100% effective, nor is it a 1 time commitment. More info is available in the the 2 page pdf brochure. Regardless of your decision on whether to treat with pesticides or not, do plant a tree this year!
Consider These 3 Things before Choosing to Use an Insecticide:
1. Identify if EAB is Near
To prevent unnecessary use of insecticides, first identify how close EAB is to your property. If you want to protect a high-value ash tree, the rule of thumb is to start chemical treatments when an EAB infestation is confirmed near your property. Your ash trees may be at risk if your property is within 15 miles of an EAB infestation, or if your property is within a county that has been quarantined for EAB (as of April 2010, the list of quarantined counties in Minnesota includes Hennepin, Ramsey and Houston Counties). Treatment programs that begin too early may be a waste of money and may have unintended environmental consequences. Check the MDA’s Interactive EAB Survey Map at http://gis.mda.state.mn.us/eab/ for current EAB infestations.
2. Consider Removing and Replacing the Ash Trees on Your Property
Consider whether ash trees on your property are worth protecting. Trees enhance a property’s value, but it may be more cost effective to replace a small or struggling ash tree than to pay the cost of ongoing treatments. In addition, trees in poor or declining health are not likely to respond well to insecticide treatments. Treat with an insecticide only if the tree is apparently healthy or
less than 50 percent of the crown is discolored or has sparse foliage. Consider tree removal if your ash tree has:
- Greater than 50 percent crown dieback
- Extensive mower or trimmer damage
- Existing EAB damage (see www.emeraldashborer.info/files/E-2938.pdf)
- Poor location such as under power lines or too close to a structure
- Poor planting
- Previous topping or extreme pruning
3. Remember Treatment Requires a Long-Term Commitment
Once EAB arrives in an area, it will remain a constant threat to ash trees for many years to come. It is likely that protective treatments will be needed for the rest of the tree’s life.