emerald ash borer disaster

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retiredbuthappy
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emerald ash borer disaster

Post by retiredbuthappy »

On our street in NJ the HOA has decided to remove all (~25) the trees and replace them. They are about 10 years old and are ash trees. There is infestation of the emerald ash borer on some of them. This is a very sad event to me. But there is no way out. The HOA has decided it's not ok to treat them as they'll get bigger and be more expensive to remove. They will pay to remove, we have to pay to replace. Wondering if there are some advances in insecticide research that might make the treatments better and cheaper in the future.

There are 3 possibilities for replacements apparently: plane trees, bartlett pear and japanese lilac trees. Any thoughts on these replacements?

Feeling sad, but moving on.

RbH
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Edie
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Edie »

Make sure that it's not actually a bradford pear tree that's been suggested (does not produce fruit, which is why I ask, since the others aren't fruit producers either), and if it is, say **** no. They stink (really bad). I'll let you google for more colorful terms of how they stink.
jebmke
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

Edie wrote:Make sure that it's not actually a bradford pear tree that's been suggested (does not produce fruit, which is why I ask, since the others aren't fruit producers either), and if it is, say **** no. They stink (really bad). I'll let you google for more colorful terms of how they stink.
I'm sure he means Bradford. Bartlett pears are for eating. Bradford pear trees are bad news -- unfortunately developers have planted them everywhere. They are very brittle and damage easily in storms or ice. My neighbor has a huge one near his driveway. Every winter a large branch comes down and blocks his driveway. I keep telling him he should cut the whole thing down but his wife like the shade there. There are other pear varieties that do better.
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Tamarind
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Tamarind »

I find pear trees to be a bad choice for street trees. They are chosen because they are quick growing. However they are also fragile under load and tend to shed branches very easily under snow or ice. This applies to all pear trees.

Bradford pear, the more common pear to use for street trees, stink of fish to me when blooming.

Plane trees will be taller, lilac trees will be broader and bloom. Nothing particularly objectionable about either that I know of.
fposte
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by fposte »

Those are unusual choices. As noted, the Bradford pear tends to be a problem (can't plant it in the right of way in my city, in fact); I love plane trees, but they can be pretty messy (tend to drop twigs and fruit), so I'd check exactly what kind of plane tree they're talking about and how much litter it tends to produce.
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

I always liked the locust trees along our street in Wisconsin. Not sure how they do in the east. The advantage is that the leaves are skinny and some filtered sun gets through for the grass -- and they don't make big piles of leaves to deal with.
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EagertoLearnMore
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by EagertoLearnMore »

Some developments require maple trees, usually sunset maple. They look nice, but as they get larger the roots cause the sidewalks to upend. Then you have to deal with replacing the sidewalks as well as replacing the tree.
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David Jay
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by David Jay »

It does seem strange that they would replace large (eventually) shade trees like ash with any of these three.
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westcoast
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by westcoast »

Suggest to the HoA they get Filbert trees (hazelnut), grow fairly fast offer good shade and produce some great tasting nuts.
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Smorgasbord
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Smorgasbord »

Tamarind wrote:I find pear trees to be a bad choice for street trees. They are chosen because they are quick growing. However they are also fragile under load and tend to shed branches very easily under snow or ice. This applies to all pear trees.
The main problems with pear trees is that the branches will often form at bad crotch angles. With fruit bearing trees, the poorly formed branches will often snap off in their second/third year under the weight of a fruit load. That's a good thing because otherwise (like the Bradford pear) the malformed branches will continue to grow to a size that can do some real damage before eventually breaking off in a wind/ice storm.
Miakis
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Miakis »

retiredbuthappy wrote:Wondering if there are some advances in insecticide research that might make the treatments better and cheaper in the future.
Probably not. Most of the research seems focused on breeding resistant elms or elm hybrids, rather than saving the current crop of susceptible elms.
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Smorgasbord
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Smorgasbord »

retiredbuthappy wrote:Wondering if there are some advances in insecticide research that might make the treatments better and cheaper in the future.
The main way to treat the ash trees inexpensively would be to apply the treatments yourself. It looks like you could treat the whole street for about $7 a tree per year.
http://www.amleo.com/merit-injectable-i ... s/p/VP-MI/
While Imidacloprid is suspected of doing nasty things to bees, it commonly used on mammals, and is the active ingredient in my dog's flea/tick drops.
TBillT
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by TBillT »

They are saying in Wash DC the ash borer is getting to the trees on Roosevelt Island where the Teddy Roosevelt memorial is located on the Potomac.
jebmke
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

TBillT wrote:They are saying in Wash DC the ash borer is getting to the trees on Roosevelt Island where the Teddy Roosevelt memorial is located on the Potomac.
I think they have been closing in on DC for a few years now.
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Kenkat
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Kenkat »

Without treatment, those ash trees are goners.

I have a large ash tree in my yard that is in a critical spot in terms of privacy, so I have been paying a tree service to treat it via injection using Emamectin Benzoate (brand name Tree-age) every two years. Cost per treatment is around $125. I also have three large ash trees at the back of my property in wooded area that I have been treating with Imidacloprid (brand name Merit). I buy it in bulk liquid and mix a soil drench and apply every year at the end of April. Very cost effective and all trees look to be in great health while untreated trees around me have been completely wiped out. The soil drench minimizes effect on other desireable inserts like bees. I agree that this is a sad and devastating event.

I will agree with the others to avoid the pear trees; only a matter of time before a storm breaks the branches. I do hear many positives about plane trees although don't know much about them. Tulip poplars trees are a species being used around here (Ohio) as a replacement for ash trees.
straws46
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by straws46 »

I would suggest going to the Missouri Botanical Garden web site and read about those tree choices. The plane tree, if it is Plantanus x acerifolia, gets up to 100 feet in height. That's quite a difference between the other two. Agree with everyone else about the Bradford pear. It is fragile and short-lived. The Japanese lilac sounds beautiful. Good luck and don't let someone plant a tree that will be too big in 10 years. Developers and even landscapers tend to go for immediate gratification at sometimes great future expense.
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

Tulip poplars also grow quite large. Well over 100 feet in my area in mid-Atlantic.
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Wakefield1
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Wakefield1 »

Dying ash trees in Arlington County with what look to be emerald ash borer emergence holes in the bark-along the Route 66 bike path near Spout Run
Ash trees near where I live in Arlington with dieback in upper branches but I can't see any emergence holes (might be too high)
Two large (Notable Tree?) ash (Green or White?) in Lyon Park were declining in last few years but look better this year,they are supposed to have had insecticide treatment.
I suspect very large seed crops from the female trees may occur when the borers begin to attack.
Don't know off hand,it might be possible to research whether there is an Asian ash that could be used as a shade tree with resistance to the borer. State Agriculture Extension?
Is ash borer pressure going to lessen for treated trees once the population of ash in the wild is mostly eliminated by the borer?
littlebird
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by littlebird »

Plane trees are susceptible to the fungus pest Anthracnose and will eventually need to be treated as well.
GoldenFinch
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by GoldenFinch »

Our city cut down every single Ash tree a few years ago prosctively and planted a variety of different trees in their place. Years ago I lived on a street with pear trees on every tree lawn. During the November 1996 storm half of them were split in two by the ice and snow. My current city used to have stately Elms everywhere and tried to fight the Dutch Elm disease for decades. The Elms kept dying so now they don't plant the same kind of tree on every street anymore to avoid the catastrophic decimation of trees on an entire street.

I would talk to the HOA about diversification at least as something to think about. Sorry about your Ash trees.
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

GoldenFinch wrote:so now they don't plant the same kind of tree on every street anymore to avoid the catastrophic decimation of trees
That would make it more interesting anyway. But developers like simplicity. Around here everyone planted Leyland Cyprus trees because they grow fast and make decent windbreaks (for a while). But they get overgrown, knocked down when large and after about 20 years, they get diseased and look terrible. When we first moved in I had almost 50 of them removed from our lot. Someone also planted Spruce trees which are not native and don't do well. I have already removed a dozen of those and have a dozen more to go.
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retiredbuthappy
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by retiredbuthappy »

Thank you Bogelhead friends for your suggestions and comments. Sure is a smart, knowledgeable, observant and sensible group here! Much appreciate your thoughts.
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F150HD
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by F150HD »

David Jay wrote:It does seem strange that they would replace large (eventually) shade trees like ash with any of these three.
yea it'd look funny on a nice street w/ all different kinds of trees lining it?
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Tracyfaa
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Tracyfaa »

We had the same here in Illinois. Our big beautiful ash tree in front of the house had to go. But all was not lost. We planted three different maple varieties. A beautiful color palette in the fall.

Bartlett pears WILL eventually split in a strong wind. They are beautiful when in bloom, but the blossoms also smell HORRIBLE.

I gotta say that after living in many different areas across the country, I must caution against any sort of hybrid ornamental tree that's designed to grow fast. Tress that naturally grow fast are one thing, but when cross polenated with other small flowering species the result does have drawbacks.
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TnGuy
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by TnGuy »

Besides all of the other negatives mentioned above about Bradford Pears, another reason to never plant them is that they are invasive.

Perhaps a good replacement choice for your HOA might be to plant some Princeton Elms.


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fposte
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by fposte »

F150HD wrote:
David Jay wrote:It does seem strange that they would replace large (eventually) shade trees like ash with any of these three.
yea it'd look funny on a nice street w/ all different kinds of trees lining it?
It's the norm now in a lot of places; it's both healthier as an ecosystem and less risky as a civic plan. In Boglehead terms, arborists are rejecting overconcentration in any single asset in favor of diversification.
sevenseas
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by sevenseas »

Sad to hear about the ash borer issue. I agree with the recommendation to stay away from the Bradford pear. The smell when flowering is just dreadful. For interest, I've attached the NYC official list of approved street trees (your HOA should take a look as our climates should be near identical, and they make a note of which are good for medians, growth rates, etc.). They also say specifically not to plant Bradford pears! I'm not familiar with the Japanese lilac but it is one of the recommended varieties. As for plane trees, my local park here in the city has a bunch of them, and I am not a fan. They seem to drop leaves when under any kind of stress, are not particularly attractive (gangly), and falling branches during/after a storm are also a problem.

https://www.nycgovparks.org/sub_your_pa ... or_nyc.pdf
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by mrc »

Of the three trees mentioned (which appear to be chosen by an HOA and not an urban arborist) I would choose the lilac (Syringa reticulata). I would not choose the pear (Pyrus calleryana), they split and are dirty. You'll be paying to take them out after ~20 years. The plane tree (Platanus × acerifolia) get way too large. Good only if you have a lot of room and no power lines.

Professional treatment of the ash trees is effective and may be the best choice for more mature trees. Sounds like the HOA is trying to cut future losses, but that may not be the best alternative.
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by jebmke »

sevenseas wrote: As for plane trees, my local park here in the city has a bunch of them, and I am not a fan. They seem to drop leaves when under any kind of stress, are not particularly attractive (gangly), and falling branches during/after a storm are also a problem.
Our area has some but they tend to be along country roads and set back from the road. In cool, wet springs they tend to lose all their leaves and then a second, smaller set of leaves come back in early summer. In very dry summers they drop leaves quickly.
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sevenseas
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by sevenseas »

jebmke wrote: Our area has some but they tend to be along country roads and set back from the road. In cool, wet springs they tend to lose all their leaves and then a second, smaller set of leaves come back in early summer. In very dry summers they drop leaves quickly.
Yes, that's exactly what I noticed! We've had a string of hot dry summers lately...last August the poor things were practically naked. Unattractive, and the leaves are also quite large and a mess to clean up.
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by fposte »

sevenseas wrote:
jebmke wrote: Our area has some but they tend to be along country roads and set back from the road. In cool, wet springs they tend to lose all their leaves and then a second, smaller set of leaves come back in early summer. In very dry summers they drop leaves quickly.
Yes, that's exactly what I noticed! We've had a string of hot dry summers lately...last August the poor things were practically naked. Unattractive, and the leaves are also quite large and a mess to clean up.
That's likely a result of anthracnose, as mentioned above. Mature plane trees and sycamores shake it off pretty well, but it should be a consideration when planting susceptible trees.
sevenseas
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by sevenseas »

fposte wrote:
sevenseas wrote: Yes, that's exactly what I noticed! We've had a string of hot dry summers lately...last August the poor things were practically naked. Unattractive, and the leaves are also quite large and a mess to clean up.
That's likely a result of anthracnose, as mentioned above. Mature plane trees and sycamores shake it off pretty well, but it should be a consideration when planting susceptible trees.
Thanks for the info. Maybe I should talk to someone in Parks. Last year they planted some replacement saplings in that park, and I've noticed that 50% of them have not survived. I was assuming it was the tough urban conditions. Will give them a heads up.

Apologies, not meaning to derail the thread. Love trees and glad others out there do too. Learning a lot!
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by edge »

tulip poplars are an undesirable tree. They grow extremely large and are highly susceptible to splitting.
Kenkat wrote:Without treatment, those ash trees are goners.

I have a large ash tree in my yard that is in a critical spot in terms of privacy, so I have been paying a tree service to treat it via injection using Emamectin Benzoate (brand name Tree-age) every two years. Cost per treatment is around $125. I also have three large ash trees at the back of my property in wooded area that I have been treating with Imidacloprid (brand name Merit). I buy it in bulk liquid and mix a soil drench and apply every year at the end of April. Very cost effective and all trees look to be in great health while untreated trees around me have been completely wiped out. The soil drench minimizes effect on other desireable inserts like bees. I agree that this is a sad and devastating event.

I will agree with the others to avoid the pear trees; only a matter of time before a storm breaks the branches. I do hear many positives about plane trees although don't know much about them. Tulip poplars trees are a species being used around here (Ohio) as a replacement for ash trees.
Mike Scott
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Mike Scott »

There are a lot of good reasons to look at local native species rather than "ornamentals" which may be invasive, unsuited to the locale or have other undesirable traits.
Chip
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by Chip »

I feel your pain. I have removed 19 ash trees from my yard since 2013. Most were 10-20" in diameter. For the four years prior to removal I attempted the soil drench treatment that Kenkat mentioned but it wasn't successful, probably due to the large size of the trees. Injection probably would have worked but would have been a significant ongoing expense.

I think with only 10 year old trees your HOA is making a good decision about removing them. In addition to the expense, another downside of the insecticide is that it kills anything that feeds on the ash tree, including native insects that are probably desirable from a total ecosystem perspective.

I agree about avoiding the pear trees. I don't have advice about other species, but agree with the previous suggestion to diversify so there's less chance of another pest wiping out a single species. Like this pest. :(
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retiredbuthappy
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Re: emerald ash borer disaster

Post by retiredbuthappy »

So many good replies - this worrisome asian longeared beetle will destroy elms, ash, maple, plane trees...incredible. And increasing climate temperatures will make these guys even worse. Thanks all! Does help to share this stuff and consider your replies. Now if there was a website/group to help with the political side too :)
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