Emerald Ash Borer Preventive Steps
Recently, news has come out that the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Sioux Falls, SD. Odds are that the beetle has been in our area for a year or two and has just finally been detected. However, this does not mean that it is time to cut down all the Ash trees in town, in fact you should not remove or prune any trees until late this fall. The reason for this, is that the borer is active during the summer months and cutting the trees down now will only speed up the spread of the insect. By waiting until fall when the insects are less active, increases the chance of keeping the beetle in the infected tree, rather than continuing its spread. We also encourage properly disposing of the infected trees to help slow down the spread the borers. There is also no reason to cut down an Ash tree that is not infected.
If you have a few specimen Ash trees in your landscape, there are treatments available to keep them. There is a drench available for home owners that want to treat the trees themselves. However, this only works on trees with less than an 8” diameter trunk and the chemical is expensive. Injections are a far better solution to keeping your tree alive. These need to be performed by a professional arborist and will need to be done for the life of the tree. Saving a shelterbelt full of Ash trees may not be economically feasible, but one or two large shade trees in your yard might be worth it. Another option is to start planting other trees to take the place of the Ash trees.
The best recommendation from the professionals at Oakridge, is to diversify the trees in your landscape. Try to plant several species so that when a disease or insect come through the area you might lose one or two trees and not every tree on your street. Please contact the nursery professionals at Oakridge with questions as there will be a lot of new information coming forward in the next couple of months.