Alas, after eight years of treating our three stately ash trees up north, I am sad to say I am losing the battle against the emerald ash borer. We faithfully drenched each tree every spring with a product called Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub that contains imidacloprid. My neighbors' trees have all died but I was delighted mine were protected - until this year. I noticed all of the ash trees showed significant die back and created a massive amount of seeds - exactly what happened to the other trees on our street before they died. Nasty ash borer! Alas, I could not afford the expensive injections suggested by my local tree company who charged over $700 a year to treat my trees previously. Instead of these beautiful canopy trees, we are planting red and white pines. As I drove home last weekend, it was sad to see the highway was lined with dead and dying trees. These were not just ash trees but also included maple, pine and what appeared to be poplars. Our native trees are under attack because folks move firewood infested with insects like the emerald ash borer for which our native trees have no defense. (The newest invader is the Asian Longhorned beetle currently found in New York, Ohio and Massachusetts, and Chicago). Our twin lakes in Iosco County were first hit when a thoughtless person ignored the DNR warnings and brought up firewood and the ash borer quickly spread from yard to yard and into nearby forests. So as you go up north this fall, please do not bring firewood! [Update: It is now summer 2015 and the ash trees are still hanging in there. I doubt there will be many leaves next spring. Sad to see these beautiful canopy trees go!]
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