Friday, October 9, 2015

Ash Tree Musings, etc.

The ash tree in my front yard is changing color -- deep purple with yellow hiding underneath.

I shall miss these lovely fall colors with the decline of ash trees.

As you can see, the one in my yard is robust and healthy.  We've been treating it for about 6 years now, long before the borers were even in the area.  My arborist applauds me for this foresight, as my tree is healthier even than others that started getting treatments later.  Of course, my arborist is making a small fortune off this decision, and I find myself wondering... how long can my ash tree, and the others being treated, survive?  Will it become some sort of relic, a living fossil almost?  How much money will I end up spending on it, and will it be worth it?  In 25 years, will I look out at my yard, think of the thousands of dollars I've spent over the years, and see, in my mind's eye, the sugar maple I could have planted back in 2010 and how big it would be 30 years later?

Am I just delaying the inevitable?  Am I providing some sort of service to nature and humanity by preserving this species?  Will it ever become unnecessary to treat the trees -- will the borers run out of food, move away, and make my ash tree safe again?  Or will they adapt, find new food sources, or keep living off the baby ash-lings produced by treated trees like mine?  (Isn't that ironic, don't ya think?)

Can you tell, dear readers, that I am conflicted about my ash tree?

As for all the others... I haven't been reporting ash tree phenology this fall.  I have no idea if the ones that are losing their leaves are doing so because of borers or because of the season.  A lot of the yellow color we've been seeing is ash trees changing, though, and more recently the purple... (The green ash trees turn yellow, I think, and ours is a white ash that turns the purple color).
In other tree news, most locusts have yellowed (the color is off in this photo -- it's yellow) and are promptly losing leaflets almost as soon as they change color. 

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