Greetings, Thank you for this service. We have an ash tree about 20 years old...

Asked August 23, 2014, 7:24 PM EDT

Greetings, Thank you for this service. We have an ash tree about 20 years old that is loosing some leaves and has some truck bark loss.(see 3 pictures). Woodpeckers seem also to be very attracted to the tree. Could you advise what might be happening.Thank you, Jim and Judy Clasen Highland Park, SP

Ramsey County Minnesota tree health ash trees tree problem

1 Response

Thank you for the question. Unfortunately, only one photo of some bark loss or splitting came through with your question. Making a diagnosis based on this information is not possible but your descriptions of what is happening are helpful. Ash are susceptible to a variety of diseases and insect damage. I direct you to the University of Minnesota Extension website "What's Wrong with my Plant"? to see if you can narrow the problem down. Here is the link:

Another possibility is emerald ash borer infestation. There are certain signs and symptoms you might see: Canopy dieback, new sprouts growing from the roots and trunks, bark splitting, D-shaped exit holes in the bark, and increased woodpecker damage. Here is a link to excellent photos of the borer, larva, and tree signs and symptoms:

If you do think you may have EAB, please read this publication from U of M extension: Please take note that you must call the"Arrest the Pest Hotline" at 1-888-545-6684.
I suggest you get a certified arborist out to look at your tree to diagnose the problem and the link above has a section on how to hire a professional arborist.