Saving Our Ash Tree – Year 2

Wayne White (see comment under the linked article), the Pier Piper of Emerald Ash Borers was in town Friday.

He had just returned from the 11,000 person Wisconsin town of Cedarburg. It has decided to save its ash trees. He treated 972 trees that were 12 inches or less in diameter.

Look where the bugs have spread in our area. If you are within 15 miles of any of these Chicago-area sightings (including Crystal Lake, McHenry and Woodstock and you are not treating your ash tree), it will soon look like the ones in the bottom page of the album below:

The ones on top are across the street and were treated by White, starting six years ago.

The bugs aren’t out yet, but White comes and treats the soil around the ash trees each spring with insecticide.

You can see him with his drill behind our house working his magic.

Later he will come back and inject the insecticide into the part of the tree trunk that carries nourishment up.

He did both last August at our home in Lakewood when he applied the first treatments to our tree.

The hose runs to a tank in his truck where he dilutes the insecticide with water.

Master Arborist White has a couple of more customers in Crystal Lake and Lakewood, so after the Emerald Ash Borers decimate the local stock, I won’t have bragging rights to having the only ash tree left in town.

I wrote extensively of White’s operation last fall when he came to treat the ash that shades the windows of our master bedroom.

I learned about White from Algonquin’s Stan Gladbach, who discovered the first Emerald Ash Borer in McHenry County.

White advertises “free evaluation and recommendation” on his web site.

The charge is $14 a diameter inch up to some cutoff point where it gets cheaper.

One Illinois town, Burr Ridge, put out treatment of its 2,000 public right-of-way ash trees to bid.

The village’s bid specs required that the winner treat any resident’s trees for the same price.

White won the bid.

“They just used the massive number of trees they had as a method to get low bids for their constituents,” White told me.

“It’s smart.”

He told me the village had sent mailings to all of its residents informing them of the price each bidder would charge and how to contact them.

“I’ve gotten some nice work out of that.”

In the testimonial to the effectiveness of the insecticide he uses, which can be seen here, White says he treated 2,000 trees last year and lost three.

So far, I know of no McHenry County government who has emulated that quite sensible approach. Of course, if the McHenry County Council of Governments would join together to put out specifications similar to Burr Ridge’s everyone in the county would have the benefit that Burr Ridge residents now enjoy.

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