Tips from Toby: Emerald Ash Borer information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Emerald Ash Borer has been in the news a lot lately. Unfortunately it's brought out a lot of parasites wanting your money to save that tree. We're going to set the record straight.

This little insect, the emerald ash borer, has become quite the media sensation this year. Let's just cut to the chase, if you live in Johnson or Jackson County, you have about as much of a chance of being hit by lightning or winning the lottery as you do getting this bug in your ash tree.

"You can wait until you know the trees infested and then take it down," tree manager, Mike Dougherty said. "Just because you have an ash tree does not mean it will be attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer -- this year, next year or in ten years."

Dougherty says if he had an ash tree in his yard right now he would not spend the $250 to $300 annually to start treatment. If you have a smaller ash tree it might be better to just have it removed now and plant a tree that will thrive better in our local climate. We aren't even sure yet if the emerald ash borer will become a big issue in our market.

"What I want to emphasize is that when a tree is first infested with Emerald Ash Borer it does not die immediately. It requires repeated re-infestations for two to three to four or more years for the tree to begin displaying symptoms and for the tree to eventually decline and die," Dougherty said.

Don't let people convince you that treatment is the best option. Even if you found an emerald ash borer in your tree today you are looking at 2 to three years before you would see any significant damage. So the best advice is to not get caught up in the hype and don't spend money with those parasites trying to strike fear that this little bug is going to kill your ash tree tomorrow, because it's simply not true!

This happens in a lot of industries. If anybody ever knocks on the front of your door soliciting business, say "no thank you." Don't ever do business with door knockers.

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