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Why Dead Ash Trees are Dangerous During Winter Storms-Blog Header

Why Dead Ash Trees Are Dangerous During Winter Storms!

Emerald Ash Borer is a dangerous insect that invades and destroys Ash trees. They have killed thousands of trees across the country since they first appeared in 2002. As we approach winter storm season, there’s something in particular that makes infested Ash Trees a big cause for concern- Dead Ash Trees are Dangerous! Keep reading to see why this species of trees can pose a threat to your property and loved ones during a heavy winter storm.

Emerald Ash Borers are fast killers!

Ash trees infested with Emerald Ash Borers die within 1-3 years.  To understand why dead Ash trees are not safe, we first need to look at how the Emerald Ash Borer invades and inevitably kills a tree.

The adult borers swarm the tree and lay eggs under the bark. Once the larvae emerge, they immediately start chewing their way through the wood of the tree. Imagine the veins of your body with blood flowing freely through them. In much the same way, the veins in the grains of the tree allow water to flow through the tree. When the larvae chew through the wood, they cut off water circulation. Additionally, the adult beetles create thousands of exit wounds as they leave the tree, further causing damage that dries out the tree.

How to know if your ash tree is infested with Emerald Ash Borer

If more than ½ of the tree’s crown is dead, the Ash cannot be saved. Unfortunately, a dead Ash tree quickly becomes a safety hazard. Tree removal will be necessary, especially if the dead Ash is located  near your home, driveway or play area.

Why Dead Ash Trees are Dangerous

Two realities make Ash Trees killed by Emerald Ash Borers a dangerous safety hazard:

  1. Moisture Loss: Emerald Ash Borers cut off the flow of water and nutrients through the tree. Additionally, the fatal pest creates thousands of exit wounds.  Both conspire to dry out the tree and make it brittle.
  2. Weak Structure: The same straight, tight grain that makes Ash great for baseball bats and splitting firewood is also why its limbs and leaders easily split apart.

The result is a dry, brittle tree that is at high risk for breaking apart.

Removal Must Be Done ASAP- especially Before Winter Storms Strike!

A dead Ash tree is not a simple tree removal.  The brittle tree is so dry that it can break apart in unexpected ways and cause significant damage. Harsh winter weather and unexpected snow and ice storms can trigger a disaster for a dry dead Ash Tree!

The first step is to have the tree evaluated. Your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist will evaluate the tree’s condition.  He will  determine if a tree climber can safely work in the tree or if a crane and/or bucket truck is required. The longer the dead tree is left in the ground, the drier and more dangerous it becomes, making tree removal even more complicated and expensive.

Take Action

Don’t wait.  Take the following steps now:

  1. Inspection: Have your Giroud Arborist evaluate the tree and recommend the best action.
  2. Tree Removal: If the Ash tree is dead or has become unsafe, prompt removal is required.
  3. TreatmentIf the Ash tree is still healthy enough to absorb treatment, a systemic trunk injection of Tree-age® every two years protects Ash from Emerald Ash Borers.
  4. Regular Pruning: In combination with treatment, remove deadwood and prune to promote healthy growth.

Give Giroud a call at 215-682-7704 to schedule your FREE evaluation!

Author: Jeanne Hafner

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