Remove or Save Your Ash Tree - the Emerald Ash Borer

With the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer in southern Illinois many homeowners and landowners are left with questions as to what to do with the ash trees in their yards or woodlots.  Below are some general rules of thumb that are followed when deciding to either save the ash tree with insecticide treatments or to have the tree removed. 

First there are certain trees that shouldn’t or cannot be saved by insecticide injection.

  • Trees that are less than 10" dbh.  This means the tree is simply too young and too small to justify the cost of the treatments to sustain its life during the EAB infestation.  Trees that are this small are typically easy to remove with minimal financial costs.
  • Trees that are over 32" dbh.  Trees this large cannot be saved because research has shown these trees are too big to respond to treatments and usually succumb to the EAB larvae. 

The following descriptions pertain to the location of the tree and the sentimental value of the tree.  Any of these trees can be removed or treated, in the end it is the decision of the owner of the property.

  • Trees that can be justified as savable are shade trees that are providing shade to houses or recreational areas.  These trees actually provide savings in utility bills and comfort to those who are near them.  Trees on the south and west side of houses are the ones that provide most of the shade for a home.
  • Some trees provide beauty or are a landmark in the community and have economical, cultural, or societal importance.
  • Trees that should not be saved are typically located on the north side of the house where there is no shade benefit to the home.  Also ash trees that are in open areas and can be easily cut down can typically be removed for a fraction of the cost of treating and saving the tree during the life of the infestation.

We hope this information will aid you in starting to make the decision of how you will handle the care of your ash trees as this new threat moves into southern Illinois.   Long Forestry is offering the ArborJet injection services to home owners and municipalities who want to save their ash trees.  You can find more information about EAB here or call the LFC office at (618) 893-2307.