As we move into spring and the weather warms up and the leaves start popping out on the trees — a destructive pest is also emerging from winter and putting some trees in danger.
Iowa Department of Agriculture Emerald Ash Borer coordinator, Mike Kintner, says you should start thinking about protecting your ash trees.
He says mid-April is the time for people in the emerald ash borer zones to start thinking about protective treatments. Kintner says some very effective treatments have been developed if you want to try and save your ash tree.
“There’s a variety of treatments available — both to the homeowner and also as a professional. The professional treatments are generally geared more toward larger trees,” Kintner says. “Anything above 20 inches in diameter at breast height — which is four-and-a-half feet off the ground — those trees should really be treated by a professional.” He says you should plan now so you don’t miss the optimal window for treatment.
“Studies have shown primarily that treatments are best done in the springtime as opposed to fall. So, you really need to discuss with your provider what options are best for you,” Kintner explains. The DNR doesn’t have a list of preferred tree doctors. Kintner’s advice is to ask questions and do a little research to find the best one for you.
“Like anything else with your house, if you are getting a new deck on or whatever, call around check around, go over their references, just do a little homework on who you chose.” Kintner says. “Just do a little homework with who you choose and make sure they explain to you why the are doing it and why it is going to work.” The state is also taking action to combat the emerald ash borer. Kintner says for the first time last year they released wasps that are the enemy of the beetles and kill them.
“Those should be gearing up in about a month or so. We’ll be starting the releases for 2017 and as time goes on, probably more and more sites will be added for the parasitic wasp,” Kintner says. The state has confirmed EAB infestations in a total of 45 of the 99 counties in the state.