Missouri Emerald Ash Borer Program | Don't spread pests. Burn firewood where you get it!

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For homeowners

If you have ash trees, learn more before you act. The potential threat of EAB is real. However, acting without understanding the specific threat to your trees, regulations and quarantines, and your options could cause the unnecessary loss of treasured shade trees.

Until EAB has been confirmed in your county, or at least 15 miles from your home, then no action is necessary. But, once it has been confirmed, then it is time to consider your options.

To assist with your decision making, following these simple steps.

Assess value of individual ash trees

The first step in determining whether or not to invest time and money in saving an ash tree is to evaluate its relative value based on its position in the landscape, its condition, the cost of removing and replacing it vs. keeping it alive, and your willingness to invest resources in it over time.

Once you have determined the value of your ash tree, you are ready to take action.

Low-value ash trees
Trees in poor condition for any reason, ash trees not integral to the landscape, and trees the owner doesn’t wish to invest resources in to protect chemically.

Possible actions

  • Intersperse replacement trees among ash trees so they can become established and grow before ash trees die.
  • Cull out ash in poor condition.
  • Allow non-hazardous trees to die and fall. Remove potentially hazardous ash before they fall.
  • Replace dead ash with non-susceptible, site-appropriate replacement species.

Moderate-value ash trees
Trees the owner wishes to keep alive until replacement trees are large enough to provide benefit.

Possible actions

  • Intersperse replacement trees among ash trees so they can become established and grow before ash trees die.
  • Begin appropriate pesticide treatment. Continue pesticide treatments on yearly basis until non-susceptible, site-appropriate replacement trees are of adequate size.
  • Remove ash as needed after discontinuing pesticide treatment.

High-value ash trees
Trees that are important to the landscape and the owner is willing to invest resources on a yearly basis. Trees must be in good condition initially.

Possible actions

  • Maintain or improve vigor of high value ash.
  • Begin appropriate pesticide treatment and repeat on vigorous trees yearly.
  • Assess condition and value of chemically protected ash trees yearly.

Other items to consider

When to use pesticides

Because most pesticides must be applied yearly, they are best-used to protect high-value trees or to keep individual ash alive until non-susceptible replacement trees are large enough to provide shade benefit.

A severely compromised ash tree, regardless of the cause of its poor condition, is not a good candidate for preventative or curative treatment.

Property owners should take the long term cost of prevention into account decide when deciding whether to use pesticides to protect their ash trees from EAB. Since ash trees must be treated every year for an indefinite period, the cost of chemical protection may quickly exceed the cost of removing and replacing them.