It’s not that I have anything against following yellow brick roads. It’s that I don’t want my ash tree to get bored. And I don’t mean that I’m concerned about getting enough entertainment for my front yard either. I just don’t want the one and only mature tree on our property to succumb to the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that has already destroyed tens of millions of ash trees and which is now in my area.
Therefore, last Saturday I treated our ash tree with imidacloprid for the third year in a row. I did it because (1) it’s May (when it should be applied), (2) Bayer Advanced Tree & Shrub protect and feed was on sale at Menards ($16.77 for 32 oz.) last week, and (3) Bayer has a $3 or $6 rebate out. (I stumbled across it trying to figure out ahead how much I’d have to buy this year. I usually buy a bottle, read the instructions, measure my tree, and then realize I have to go back to the store for another bottle.) I needed 2 bottles for my 64″ circumference tree, so I’ll get the $6 rebate.
This is the cheapest and easiest preventative measure that a homeowner could take, but it may not work. Two years ago my Master Gardener coordinator told me that if I treated my tree before it got attacked, it would be protected. And she was right according to the information that had been gathered at that time. Today the word on the street–or rather at the Master Gardener meeting–is different. Apparently even trees that got injections from arborists two or three years ago have become infected. But not every tree WILL get infected, so I figure I might as well keep taking at least this small measure to protect my tree.
If my tree goes, I’ll have to get some good advice about what to replace it with. I really don’t know much about trees, and that is why I’ve not planted any besides the fruit trees that I grafted myself. I didn’t even know the tree in my front yard was an ash tree until someone else identified it for me. But it’s a nice tree, and I hope it lasts and doesn’t get bored–either by bugs or by a lack of interesting entertainment.
If you’re concerned about the Emerald Ash Borer, here is where to go for further information: Emerald Ash Borer – Information for Homeowners.