Treat or Cut Ash Trees? How Best to Control Emerald Ash Borers

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The problem of Ash trees threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer insect has homeowners and businesses trying to make the difficult decision on whether to treat or cut down their trees. ArborSystems can help with that decision as they have the answers for property owners. Arborists have been successfully protecting and saving Ash trees since 2001. They can survive and recover from EAB damage if they are properly diagnosed and treated in time. For more information, visit

Deciding to treat or cut an Ash tree that is threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer insect can be a difficult question for most homeowners and businesses unless they have all the answers.

"Arborists have been successfully protecting and saving Ash trees since 2001," said Chip Doolittle, president of ArborSystems in Omaha, NE. "Ash trees can survive and recover from EAB damage if they are properly diagnosed and treated in time."

What is Emerald Ash Borer? An invasive insect beetle native to Asia that first showed up in North America in 2002. It attacks Ash trees by feeding on the water and nutrient tissues underneath the bark and has killed more than 30 million trees. Initial warning signs include woodpecker activity, gradually dying branches and a thinning of the tree canopy. Originally experts believed that EAB could only be controlled by cutting down trees resulting in many homeowners cutting down trees that could have been saved.

What are the options to protect trees? Field tests have proven that Ash trees can be protected with certain treatments, specifically Pointer Insecticide. Pointer is an imidacloprid formulation manufactured by ArborSystems that is applied with the ArborSystems Direct-Inject Tree Treatment System. It is an easy, fast and tree-friendly treatment that protects the tree's health and prevents long-term wounding. Real-life examples of the most efficient remedy and procedure for protecting and saving Ash trees rather than cutting them down are shown on

When should a tree be treated? For best results, an Ash tree should be treated before it becomes infested or begins exhibiting symptoms and as soon as EAB has been identified in your area. Prized trees can be treated sooner. Treatments to cure trees are possible but are more difficult.

How long will it take for Pointer to start working? ArborSystems Direct-Inject unit delivers the chemicals directly to where the tree can best use it, so control is achieved in as little as three to five days.

What is the difference between no-drill and drilled trunk injections? The no-drill method is similar to getting a small cut that heals quickly versus drilling which is comparable to a cut that requires stitches and time to heal and can be prone to infections. Drilled holes provide easy access to tree pests and diseases. Although the chemicals are delivered inside the trunk with both methods, the ArborSystems Direct-Inject Tree Treatment System is designed to distribute the chemical into the active layer of the tree.

Can treatments hurt trees? Only if a treatment method is used that requires drilling because drilling wounds can permanently damage a tree's ability to move and store water and nutrients. The ArborSystems Direct-Inject system is the only trunk injections method that does not require drilling and most trees can be treated in five minutes or less. There also is no drilling damage or exposure risks associated with spraying, soil injections or drenching.

What else should be done to help trees? ArborSystems Pointer should be used along with various nutrients to keep the trees as healthy as possible.

How often should a tree be treated? The recommended action is for annual applications in areas with heavy infestations or in the curative stages and the use of it every other year in preventative situations.

Why should ArborSystems Pointer Insecticide be used? It has been used successfully since 2001 to prevent and treat EAB infestations. It is the only imidacloprid product labeled by the EPA for two-year control.

What will happen if a tree is treated but the city or neighbors are not treating the trees nearby? Trees treated with ArborSystems Pointer will be protected even with untreated trees nearby. In fact, groups of treated trees have survived in areas surrounded by hundred of trees that have died from EAB infestations as shown on Tree studies since 2001 of ArborSystems Pointer have shown no evidence of EAB activity or damage to treated trees, even with 'insect pressure' evidenced by swarming of EAB adults within 50 feet of trees.

Does a tree have to be treated if it looks healthy and is located in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia? For best results, treatments with ArborSystems Pointer should begin before an Ash tree becomes infested or branches start dying.

Who should treat trees? Pointer Insecticide from ArborSystems should be applied by trained tree care professionals using the Direct-Inject no-drill treatment system.

ArborSystems provides a variety of tree injection systems and insecticides, fungicides, nutrients and tree growth regulator designed to meet a broad range of tree care needs. The original Direct-Inject Tree Treatment System, The Wedgle, was introduced in the mid 1990s. For more information, visit

MEDIA NOTE: Photos can be emailed to you upon request.


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Chip Doolittle

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