adult ash tree
I have an older ash tree in my yard, and on the back side there are a lot of dead branches. My neighbor says that is common with ash trees, that it's still basically a healthy tree, and I should just have the dead limbs trimmed off. Would you agree? I'd like to keep the tree if that is the case. If you need a photo more close up, I can do that.
Thank you for the question. Many different factors need to go into diagnosing a tree problem whether is be insect, disease, or environmental problem. Often times even a photo or two isn't adequate. Ash trees can suffer from a variety of ailments and if you would like to keep the tree, we suggest having a certified arborist out to closely examine it in your landscape and not rely on your neighbor's advice. Removing dead branches is always a good idea but you need to know what the problem is before acting or treating the tree.
Here are three links that may help you figure out what's wrong with your tree:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/plant/ What's wrong with my plant?
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/how-to-hire-a-professional-arborist/ How to hire a professional, certified arborist.
http://www.extension.org/pages/13083/trees-and-shrubs:-problems#.VeS6dCVVhBc An introduction to the complexity of diagnosing problems such as yours.
Thank you for contacting Extension and good luck.