Ash Borer Disease
A few years ago we heard about a possible threat to our Ash tree. We looked into treatment but weren't sure where to go with it. So we crossed our fingers! But this year it looks like our tree has been attacked by the Ash Borer. "Oh my gosh," I said, when we returned from a trip. There are no leaves on the lower branches. There are strange markings on the trunk. Question: What action do you recommend going forward? Do we try to treat the tree? Or is it too far gone? The tree has been in our yard for 48 years, growing and giving us good shade in that time. Do we need to cut it down? Do you have any publications that you can direct us to? I did not see any ash borer related topics in my initial search for information. Thank you for your response.
Your ash tree has been infest by emerald ash borer for some time, as evidenced by the woodpecker drilling to remove the borers (those strange markings you see.)
At any rate, your tree looks more than half dead and is way past the point when it could be helped by any treatment.
Ash wood gets very brittle when it dies, when makes removal tricky and dangerous--and more expensive than if you have it removed before it is dead. We'd recommend that you get it removed as soon as possible.
There is a great deal of emerald ash borer information on our website. Next time try putting it into our website search box, or look under "Help" and then "Invasives".