Basic Options for Property Owners

The basic options for a property owner are the following:

  • If the ash tree still looks healthy enough after leaf out (no more than 30% canopy decline), you can begin to have it treated with insecticide to begin protecting it this spring/summer. This is an annual or biannual expense and it is best to have a certified arborist assess the health of the tree and apply the treatment. If the tree is over 15" in diameter at breast height, it is important to have a licensed pesticide applicator treat the tree. The chemicals available to the average homeowner typically aren't rated for trees that size or larger. 
  • If the tree is past the point of being a good candidate for treatment or the homeowner would prefer not to go that route, plan to do removals during fall, winter or early spring. Try to avoid doing any pruning or removals during the summer months when the EAB is active. Ash trees become very brittle and hazardous quickly after they die and that can greatly increase removal costs, depending on where it happens to be located in the yard. It typically takes about 3 years for signs of infestation to become initially visible, and a total of 5-6 years for EAB to kill the tree. 
  • If the infected ash trees are in a natural area where they don't pose hazards to persons or property, they can be left to die and fall apart. 
  • If infected trees are cut down, it is best if the wood can be kept as close to where it was cut as possible. You can save it for firewood and burn onsite, bring it to the closest tree waste disposal site, or have a tree care company take it away if you hire one to address the tree. It is important that the wood doesn't get hauled outside of the known infested area and the EAB quarantine restrictions are followed. 

If you need more information, please visit our Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Resource page.