The Ash Tree Doctor Comes

Wayne White had his hose put away by the time I got this photo of him and his daughters boyfriend.

It was the first half of June, so I wasn’t surprised when Master Arborist Wayne White knocked on the door.

I was surprised and disappointed that he had finished treating our ash tree before I had a chance to take some photos.

Reflecting upon his fervor to save ash trees, I thought of Johnny Appleseed.

Although the apple seed sower was on the front end of the growth process, his enthusiasm for propagating his favorite fruit tree cannot have been any greater than that of White’s in saving ash trees.

The red dots show where the Emerald Ash Borer has been spotted in Illinois.

I won’t go through how he got into the business. You can read that here.

What’s he done lately?

He is treating 385 white ash trees on the public rights of way in Downers Grove.

Wayne White gets really serious when he discusses his mission.

A nearby town, Glen Ellyn, requires residents who treat their trees to get a permit.

Before you go into shock, as I almost did when I heard about it, listen to the reason:

It’s so the village can find out what treatments work and which don’t.

Put in that light, the idea sounds like a good one unless one is just willing to give up and saw down all the ash trees.

White was off to Cedarburg, Wisconsin. The local forester is injecting the insecticide into the ground around the trees, but White’s expert touch is needed to inject it into the tree trunks.

The Wisconsin forester told White that his state’s association meetings consist mainly of how to use infected ash wood.

Locally, ash trees are dead along the McHenry-Kane County line in Algonquin. That means they are probably in the early stages of infection farther north. Confirmed sitings in McHenry County include

Emerald Ash Borer

  • Algonquin
  • Crystal Lake
  • Huntley
  • Lake in the Hills
  • Marengo
  • Woodstock

Measure 15 miles from there and you pretty much have all of McHenry County.

And, the Illinois Department of Agriculture issued a press release June 9th about the emerald ash borer having been found in Loves Park’s Rockcut State Park in Winnebago County near Rockford.

Unless people start treating them, we’ll be hearing the sound of saws–just as I did in the fall of 1960 in my freshman year at Oberlin College as the elms were being disposed of.

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