If You Have an Ash Tree
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is known to target and kill all North American ash species. If you have an ash tree on your property, or if you are unsure whether you have an ash tree, the following may be a useful resource to you:
Ash trees are fairly common landscape features in Fitchburg, both on residential and commercial properties. Here are a few ash tree identifiers:
If you remain unsure whether you have an ash tree, contact the City Forester at 270-4289 or email@example.com.
If you identify an ash tree on your property, it's important to first gauge the health of your tree.
If you have a healthy ash tree, treatment may be an option.
If you have an ash tree in poor health, removal may be the best way forward.
Healthy ash trees still have more than 50% of their leaf canopy and show little-to-no signs of bark damage.
Soil-applied insecticides available to homeowners must be applied once a year. Trunk-injection insecticides available to certified arborists and professional pesticide applicators can be applied every two to three years, depending on the insecticide.
For a rough estimate of how treatment and removal costs stack up against one another, the Urban Tree Alliance has an easy-to-use EAB Management Cost Calculator.
If your ash tree shows signs of an infestation and you want to treat it, contact a certified arborist to determine whether insecticide treatment is a viable option.
Ash trees in poor health have lost more than 50% of their leaf canopy and show signs of bark damage (from woodpeckers, bark splits, or other external injuries).
To coordinate and discuss private tree removal, reach out to a certified arborist. They will help you determine whether treatment is an option and assist with the tree removal process if it is not.
An ash tree already in poor health for reasons other than EAB should be removed. For any insecticide to be effective, an ash tree must be healthy enough to transport it throughout its entire trunk, throughout all of its limbs and branches, and into all of its leaves.
Tree & Shrubbery Ordinance
The City’s Tree and Shrubbery Ordinance can require a homeowner, business owner, or other property owner to remove an ash that shows signs of an EAB infestation if the tree constitutes a nuisance such that it:
- Interferes with the use of public areas;
- Is injurious to public improvements; or
- May endanger the life, health, safety, or welfare of persons or property, public or private.
One or more of these criteria can easily pertain to an EAB-infested ash tree that has dying or dead large branches and limbs and is located close to public or private property.
While removing a tree can be disheartening, there are some positive follow-up steps that are worth considering: