Why Is My Ash Tree Dying?

In the Rochester, NY area, there are many ash trees that are dying or have died already. The main reason why so many ash trees are dying is the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest native to Asia that has killed many ash trees. First observed in Michigan, the Emerald Ash Borer has spread throughout the U.S., killing about 200 million ash trees. 

About The Emerald Ash Borer

The ash borer, like all insects, goes through four distinct stages of metamorphosis: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. While the adult stage of the Emerald Ash Borer can cause leaf damage, the stage that is the most dangerous is the larvae stage. During the larvae stage, the larvae “bore” holes that damage the xylem and phloem, disrupting the tree’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. 

Symptoms of Damage

At first, the symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) are relatively minor. It may appear that there are an unusually high number of dead branches, particularly in the upper portion of the canopy. Later, the symptoms become more severe, and can include the bark flaking off the trunk and branches, increased woodpecker activity and woodpecker damage, and holes left by the Emerald Ash Borer. Eventually, after 2-5 years, nearly all trees infected with Emerald Ash Borer will die if left untreated. 


Some people choose to have their ash trees treated by a tree healthcare professional/consulting arborist. The treatment typically involves an injection of insecticide, such as bifenthrin or imadacloprid. These treatments are expensive, often costing $200 or more per treatment. The treatment usually also needs to be repeated in 1-2 years to prevent re-infection by the Emerald Ash Borer. Most companies that provide the treatment do not guarantee the success of the treatment, either. Because of the high cost, many people elect to have to have their ash trees removed by a tree service. 

Removal Approach

If your ash tree is dead or dying, a good option is to remove the tree before it becomes a hazard. If trees are left too long after dying, (and they are in a dangerous location) there is an increased risk that they might fall and damage structures or injure pedestrians. Additionally, a dead ash tree that has been left too long can be more expensive to remove, as the removal process is more dangerous. If you are needing your ash tree removed, give us a call today. As a Webster, NY tree service and landscaping company, you can count on us to provide you with a high-quality result. 

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