Is it too late?...We get this question frequently
Hard to know until we see the tree. It's easy to send us a picture via text or email
(Don't worry, we don't charge to look at pictures, just email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
• Do any neighbor's ash trees look sick or are dying?
• Have you noticed any D shaped holes in the trunk?
• Does your tree look sick? (Strong indicator to have it looked at professionally)
Maybe it has started to look off, or thinner than normal
• Are there any big dead branches? (Sign it may be too late)
• Is the bark falling off? (This is a sign, it is too late)
Trees that are infested may not actually show for several years. The damage and disruption hasn't been severe enough to show.
Is my tree infested?
Emerald Ash Borer can infest a tree up 15 miles away. While that may seem like quite a distance, we shouldn't be looking for trees that far. If there is a tree showing signs within a few blocks of your house, yours is most likely infested.
I've never seen an EAB on my tree, how do you know? EAB is going to start by infesting the canopy, not the trunk of the tree. You might need to climb up to find any evidence. EAB also doesn't usually hang out on the leaves, it usually burrows under the bark.
Your tree can have a low level infestation for several years before showing any signs of damage. The first visible sign of damage is the thinning of the canopy. In the picture to the right, we can see the lower left limb thinning compared to the rest of the tree.
The thinning canopy also means that it might not be salvageable the following year. You will probably be cutting your ash tree down and tree removal costs can be in the hundreds to thousands for larger trees.
In the diagram below, we can see no difference between a health tree and the first two years of an infested tree. It is only in year three that we see the thinning canopy.
Also realize that EAB populations are growing exponentially year after year. So just one becomes 10 the following year. Then those 10 become 100 in year two. Year three goes from 100 to 1000, and we can see why just one infected tree within a few blocks can spread it to the neighborhood.
The size of the tree will also impact the number of EAB it will take to thin the tree. Smaller trees will require fewer EAB. Larger trees will take a whole lot more.