EAB Treatment Should Continue

First, Some Emerald Ash Borer History…

In Michigan, where this insect made its first appearance in the United States, the Emerald Ash Borer ravaged the state and killed every Ash tree that had not been properly treated within about 9 years. The Ash trees that were saved in Michigan are now on a reduced ‘maintenance’ program. We had expected Illinois to follow suit and thought, as we’re sure you could understand, that it should naturally take about the same amount of time to reach that point in Illinois. We assumed that by now, just over 9 years after the Borer made its way down to Illinois, that we would have been able to reduce our treatment program to a maintenance level as well. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to recommend that as of yet. Why is that?

There was a far larger population of Ash trees here in Illinois than there originally were in Michigan. At the time, there was no apparent reason to consider the difference in the number of Ash trees per state. However, once 2016 got here, which was the 9th year of the infestation here in Illinois, it was evident that there are still thousands of untreated Ash trees around us that hadn’t died yet. Why the difference? In our opinion, and in the opinions of noted Master Arborists, it’s because there are so many more Ash trees here in Illinois.  So, it is taking longer for the insects to kill them all. When there are more Ash trees for the Ash Borer to choose from, it means fewer insects per tree, thus delaying and dragging out the dying process.

ash trees with eabPlease notice the photo that we included which was taken this week. It shows three Ash trees in an office park on Warrenville Road just a few traffic lights East of Naperville Road. If you pay attention as you’re driving around, you’ll notice that there are still untreated Ash trees such as these all over DuPage and Kane County. They are in homeowner’s yards, on commercial properties and in our extensive and beautiful Forest Preserve system. As long as Ash trees exist that have any live growth on them at all, they are capable of supporting the Emerald Ash Borer population. One would think that the folks who own these damaged, dying trees, and who have chosen to not treat them, would realize that they would inevitably die and would remove them for aesthetic appeal if nothing else. Unfortunately, for whatever reason they are delaying removing their trees, so these Ash trees still stand continuing to put everyone else’s Ash at continued risk.

We do not have a more definitive answer as to when we will be able to reduce the treatment program against the Emerald Ash Borer but for the reasons just explained, we must stay with the current program. The insect is definitely on the downhill slide but we just aren’t there yet.

Stressed Tree Recovery

We hope you enjoy seeing ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos as much as we enjoy sharing them. In 2014 we received a call from a Glen Ellyn resident worried about their majestic 38-inch diameter Maple tree shown in the photo below, and rightfully so.

The tree was thin, off-colored, and had several dead limbs protruding out from the top and sides of the tree. The tree was obviously highly distressed and in the process of dying.

This resident was very astute in noticing the distressed tree early on. All too often homeowners wait until it is too late before questioning whether anything can be done to save their tree.

We recommended our ‘Stress Recovery Soil/Root Drench Treatment Program’. This treatment consists of a combination of products deposited right at the base of the tree in the Spring or Summer followed by our basic Fall Root Fertilization program. The products that we apply consist of a rich suspension of Minerals, Nutrients, Amino Acids and Beneficial Fungi that we have personally formulated over our 47 years in the tree care industry. While this combination of products doesn’t produce results like this every single time on highly stressed trees, 85% of the time it does work miracles as you can see in the comparison ‘after’ photo.

The point is that healthy mature trees add tremendous value to your property so it makes sense to care for them!

 

 

Japanese Beetles are Hatching

Destructive Japanese Beetles are now beginning to hatch at the end of June in and around Naperville. For those of you scheduled for these treatments your first application will occur after July 4th. We don’t want to start applications too early. Remember that your susceptible trees and shrubs will still sustain some damage even with treatment. Spraying against this insect will limit their damage but will not eliminate the damage altogether as they have to do some feeding to absorb enough insecticide to kill them.

If you are not scheduled for treatment keep an eye out especially on your Linden trees as that is their favorite target. They will also attack White Birch, River Birch, Purple Plums, Elms and certain Maples and Crab Apples plus several types of bushes.   And call us for an estimate for treatment!