Advice about ash tree

Asked May 23, 2018, 4:37 PM EDT

The large ash tree on our property isn't showing signs of Emerald Ash Borer infestation yet, but I understand it is only a matter of time. I read on this website that a certified arborist can apply a treatment to protect the tree, but that this should have been done in March. My question is, do I dare wait until next March and have it treated if it still looks healthy, or should I just have the tree removed now to be on the safe side?

Montgomery County Maryland emerald ash borer ash trees trees how to treat ash trees for eab when to remove ash tree

8 Responses

Treating an ash tree is expensive and temporary. It will have to be treated perpetually. If you anticipate removing it, wait until you see symptoms of EAB (photos and explanation on the webpage) and then have it removed. It should take a couple of years to die.
The important thing is to have it removed before it dies completely. Ash wood is brittle and this make removal dangerous and expensive. Have it removed before it is completely dead.


Ok, so I wonder if I can wait a year or so to remove it. At this time, the top canopy looks fine with lots of leaves and I can't see any dead branches (though my view is somewhat obstructed by other tree canopies; the ash tree is very tall). However, there are a few spots on the bark that *could* be the very first signs of infestation. They are spots where it looks like the bark has been "nibbled" a bit, exposing the light wood underneath. I'm going to come back and post a couple of pictures from my phone.

So the question is: assuming that removing it is the best course of action, am I safe to wait until next year, or should I get it done this year along with another tree that I'm having removed? I'd prefer to spread the cost out over two years...but if I need to do it now, I could.

The nibbled sections of the bark are an indicator of woodpecker feeding. This damage can become extensive in ash trees (it's referred to as "blonding"). EAB larvae can be anywhere in the tree and woodpeckers will find them for food.

Since your tree has only minimal woodpecker damage and still has most of its canopy, I think it is fine for you to wait until next year to have it removed. Once half the canopy is visibly in decline, don't wait much longer. As noted in our previous reply, these trees become very brittle when they are dead and removal can become hazardous.


Thank you. I have one last question. :) My neighbor is strongly encouraging me to try to treat the tree myself to protect it from EAB. Also, someone on a neighborhood listserv posted the following: Do a search online for Mauget. You can buy the product online and treat the tree yourself if you are somewhat handy. Plenty of instructions online.

What are your thoughts on this? If I decide not to remove it this year, do you think this type of treatment could slow down the infestation?

We are glad you asked.
By Maryland law, the pesticides used for EAB are only supposed to be sold and used by certified pesticide applicators, trained and licensed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The active ingredient, Imidacloprid, has connections to adverse environmental effects, especially on pollinators.
Please review this page from our website, which includes a link to the 2016 legislation:

If you choose to protect your tree, you need to use a professional.


Thank you. I will steer clear. :)

Your welcome.
You might consider sharing it with your neighborhood listserve.