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OPPD Forester Encourages Homeowners To Manage Their Ash Trees

May 10, 2018

For homeowners with Ash trees, now is the time to consider treating them to protect against the Emerald Ash Borer.  

Mike Norris, OPPD Utility Forester, says research shows the best time to treat is when the Ash Borer has been found within about 15 miles.  He says most of Omaha is now at this point. 

Norris says in addition treating to save Ash trees you value for their shade and beauty, it is important to think about the danger a compromised Ash tree can pose.  He says they are not like some trees that can remain standing for years even after they die.

“What they’re discovering is that with the Ash the wood becomes brittle and is susceptible to failure much earlier. And so, consequently, when an Ash tree dies from EAB, it’s imperative to get it removed as soon as you can, it becomes very hazardous to climb or remove. And then, of course, if it fails, it is going to fall on a house, a fence, a car, a person or power lines.” 

Norris says there are treatments homeowners can apply themselves or they can hire a certified arborist to treat the tree with injections.  He says the professional treatment has the advantage of only needing to be done every two to three years, versus every year.  Additionally, he says it kills only the Ash Borer, whereas the self application can kill favorable insects as well.

When replacing trees, OPPD recommends selecting a diverse type.  The OPPD Arboretum on 108th and Blondo has a variety of trees at different stages of growth along with information about which ones are safe to plant near power lines. 

The Nebraska Forest Service has more information about the Emerald Ash Borer at nfs.unl.edu