Saving Trees from Emerald Ash Borer

It seems that everywhere you turn there is a new report of emerald ash borer appearing in another Chicago-area community. Unfortunately, with that news comes a lot of misinformation. One of the most common misconceptions is that removing ash trees is the best way to both prevent and treat infestations.

Though the tiny insect is capable of destroying stately ash trees, it is also treatable. Like so many other pests that have attacked our urban forest, while there is no “cure,” research shows that ash trees can be protected and saved from emerald ash borer (EAB).

The Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation, comprising university scientists, municipal foresters, commercial arborists, public works officials and nonprofit organizations, has stated that it is erroneous to believe that tree removal slows the spread of EAB or that treatment is not effective, economical and environmentally sound.

According to the coalition: “Current science supports conservation via treatment as a sensible and effective tool for managing healthy ash trees in urban settings. In many cases, tree conservation is economically and environmentally superior to tree removal.”

Scientists at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories concur. Their research, along with that of researchers at Michigan State University and others, shows that treatment can control an existing EAB infestation of a tree. And subsequent treatment will protect from further infestation, with trees remaining healthy, despite widespread loss of nearby untreated trees.

However, the ideal scenario is to begin treatment of your ash trees when an EAB infestation has been detected within 15 miles and before your trees are infested. 

While treatment is a viable management option, it is not necessarily appropriate for every ash tree. Property owners should work with a certified arborist to determine the best course of action on a tree-by-tree and property-by-property basis.

Property owners and city officials do have options. Reading the coalition’s recommendations is a good place to start:

Bartlett Tree Experts is ready to assist you in fighting emerald ash borer with the best scientific tree care knowledge available and the full resources of the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories.

About Bartlett Tree Experts
The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company was founded in 1907 by Francis A. Bartlett and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company.  The organization’s current chairman, Robert A. Bartlett Jr., represents the third generation of Bartlett family management.  Bartlett has locations in 25 U.S. states, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. Services include pruning, pest and disease management, fertilization and soil management, cabling and bracing, tree lightning protection systems and tree/stump removal. Its corporate offices are located in Stamford, Connecticut. 


For more information, contact:

Christine Esposito

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