Emerald Ash Borer, Now What?

Emerald Ash Borer
Well if you have read the newspapers then you have heard about the scourge of Emerald Ash Borer sweeping across the land decimating all Ash trees in its path. So what do we do here in Kansas City to defend ourselves? How is it going to affect the average homeowner?

First let’s calm down and survey how it will affect us in Missouri and Kansas. EAB has been found in Platte county Missouri, Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas. As in its name it only infests Ash trees. The Ash tree population in Missouri’s forest is around 4%. A reduction of 4% of the trees in the forest would probably not even be noticed. This has not been the case in other states where Ash is the predominant tree in the forest. So this insect had a greater impact in other states with higher populations of Ash.

So what should we do? The Emerald Ash Borer only infest Ash so by planting a diverse selection of trees on our property and community we can better defend ourselves from pest and disease of any kind. We use this same concept when we blend seed, as an example the Heatwave blend of Fescue is more disease resistant than a single variety due to its genetic diversity. If you have an Ash in your yard that you want to protect then come out to the Grass Pad and we can show you a product that you can apply yourself to protect your tree for 12 months. Borers usually attack trees that are under stress so anything to reduce stress and promote tree health helps. Start by making sure that you water during drought, fertilize to encourage healthy growth, and maintain a mulch ring to keep the weed eater away.

Probably the best defense is to plant a new tree to someday replace the Ash in your yard. The current Ash in your yard may last another ten years and that gives you plenty of growing time for replacement trees for any high value areas. Notice that we are not recommending cutting down trees now. The goal is to reduce the dramatic effect of the loss of a mature tree by having as much growing time on the replacements as possible. Come on down to the Grass Pad and our staff can show you several replacement tree options.