late blooming ash trees
I have a couple of ash trees within 10 ft of each other. They are just now showing leaves near the top and some at lower branches. Some branches are not showing leaves yet and makes it look 'dead'. The leaves show 'life'. I'm told many ash trees in the area are exhibiting this situation of late blooming. Should they be cut down or allow more time?
Your ash trees should be in full foliage, now ... sparse biomass is an indicator of problems within the tree's system. In order to survive, these trees need sufficient leaf tissue to photosynthesis sunlight into simple carbohydrates and sugars for nutrient value. The trees are definitely in decline from the photos your provided. I would be very concerned with this condition, especially since more than one specimen is exhibiting the problem. Have you noticed any holes in the bole of the tree? This may be Emerald Ash Borer damage. Or your trees may have a disease (i.e., Ash yellows, rust or Ash decline). I suggest you immediately contact your local cooperative extension office or local forest service office to have someone come-out for a site visit.
The address for the NJ Forest Service is a connect to the forest fire service - they may be able to advise you of your local forest health specialist, who could give further assistance.
Glad you noticed the problem and have taken action. Good luck. ~DOT