Emerald Ash Borer “Death Curve” Begins
Emerald Ash Borer has been in the Northwest Metro for about ten years. Experts say the ten year mark is roughly when damage from the pests becomes very visible.
It’s called the “death curve.”
The borer is steadily moving across the country from east to west, leaving dead ash trees in its wake. As the bugs tunnel through the trees, they destroy the part of the tree that moves sap from the bottom to the top. This effectively starves the tree.
The east metro is already into the so-called death curve, which means they can expect a huge loss of trees. This could mean more than half a million in places. The west metro is expected to follow in their footsteps.
“We won’t see these again in our lifetimes.”
Experts say there are some things you can do to protect ash trees in your yard. There’s an insecticide treatment that gets applied every couple of years that should keep the tree healthy. While costly, arborists say if your tree is large and healthy, it could take more than forty years to grow another one to that height. That means it might be worth the investment, because once the current crop of ash trees are gone, we won’t see more large ones in our lifetime.
But if your tree isn’t very big, or has already been infested, it might be a good idea to cut it down and dispose of it properly. An upcoming Plymouth forestry program promises to help residents do just that, by giving them trees to replace the ones they cut down.
In the end, it’s impractical to completely prevent the devastation the Ash Borer is bringing. But experts say some trees can be saved, and other infestations can be delayed long enough to plant different trees that aren’t vulnerable to the bug.