Ash borer disease: Pervasive pests


The Ash Borer Disease is ever present in Fishers this spring and, contrary to popular belief, it is not a new problem.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that kills millions of ash trees each year and according to Jeff Gatewood, the owner and president of Allisonville Nursery, it has been hitting Fishers fairly hard, particularly in the last five years.

Every week Gatewood has a large percentage of residents come in to look for new trees due to the loss of an Ash.

When describing an already infected tree, Gatewood associated it with a chronic illness.

“You can maintain it, it’s not going to go away,” he said. “You can either hire a tree service to annually treat it, treat it yourself with home remedies, or face the inevitable because you will be fighting and fighting it and if you stop it’s going to win.”

One indication that your tree has already been infected is if dead branches begin to form. If that is the case it is not too late to save the tree.

“If the tree is healthy now, you should treat it because it will get it,” Gatewood said.

Applying a systematic drench to the soil of the tree is the remedy choice Gatewood encourages his clients to use.

There are various methods of insecticides that can be implemented to save the trees depending on the severity of the infestation. Four of the most well known methods include the soil-based insecticides that Gatewood recommends, trunk injections, lower trunk sprays and protective cover sprays.

When replacing an Ash tree it is okay to use another one, although the same problem will occur.

Many nurseries such as Allisonville do not sell Ash trees anymore.

Gatewood has yet to see a decline in the number of Ash Borer cases each year, although he expects to soon see a time where the tree’s existence will diminish in the area.

“In another couple years we ought to get to the point where it trickles in slower; they’re dying and dead and I keep thinking we are going to hit that point,” he said.

If an Ash tree is not treated and nothing is done to prevent the disease, it is most likely to be dead within a few years.

The two decisions that must be made, in Gatewoods opinion, are finding the cost of maintaining the tree and then deciding how much it actually means to you.

To have a tree removed or inquire on the status of it, you can visit any local nursery or tree service.