Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sad Day in the Garden

Looking out my kitchen window I saw what looked like flies around my giant ash tree.  My fears were confirmed when I went outside and saw the flash of bright green - Emerald Ash Borer.  Without any natural enemies, it has decimated the ash forest in parts of the US and Ontario.  I suspected my beautiful ash had been hosting these pests for a while because of the branches sprouting lower on the trunk and die-back at the top of the plant.   It is such a shame - it was one of my last 'takes 2 people to hug' trees.

For those of you who have never seen one in person.  I've provided this photo.  I call it, "Where's the Emerald Waldo Ash Borer?"  I've loaded the photo at full size, so I believe if you click on it you might have a little more success. (A third of the way over from the left hand side, a little less than a quarter of a way up from the bottom.)

The Ontario government asks us to check for the tell-tale D-shaped hole to show that the tree has been visited.  No doubt the hole is about the same size as the insect, so good luck with that.

Unlike oaks or red maples that can stand for years after they die, ash rot off near the soil level, making our decision to call to have it removed more urgent.  Expensive, and very, very sad.  I'm heartsick.


Jim/ArtofGardening.org said...

My condolences on your Ash tree.

Barbarapc said...

Thanks Jim.

Jennifer said...

How sad! I love your descriptive 'takes 2 people to hug' tree. I'd be heartbroken too.

Jason said...

Very sorry this happened to you. All the ash trees in this area are being gradually replaced, even if they are not yet infected.