Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sad, the trees are dying

I knew it was coming but was in denial.  I live in a section of town that was developed about 20 years ago.  When I moved into my house, the street wasn't even paved yet.  A few years later, the city planted trees along the street.  In front of my house, they planted an ash tree.  Many of the trees along the street are ash trees.  There are some maple, oak, linden etc, but you can really see from a distance which ones are ash trees.  You see, they're the trees that are dead or dying.
We are in an area that is infested with the Emerald Ash Borer.  This nasty beetle bores into the bark of ash trees and lays its eggs.  The larvae that hatch eat the layer just under the bark, killing the tree.  The bark just peels back like cheap paint and you see all the little trails left by the larvae.
I'm sad.  I've nurtured this tree, watered it, fertilized it and watched it grow.  First it was about 8' high and blocked the view of my neighbour's front door.  Then it blocked the roof of the awning over the front door.  Then it blocked the upstairs window, then the roof and finally it grew tall enough that it didn't block the house anymore.  When the city crew came by last year to prune the daylights out of the tree, I cried.  The beautiful crown of the tree was chopped back.  I couldn't see the sickness in the tree, but I guess they did.  So, now the beautiful tree is half dead, and probably will be completely gone by the end of the summer.
If you haven't been hit by the Ash Borer in your area of SW Ontario yet, be vigilant.  Make sure there is no transfer of wood from an infested area to a non-infested area.  All the provincial parks are posted that you can't bring wood into the park.  This scourge has been coming for years, and many, including me, just didn't "get" it.  Now it's too late.
If you're planting - plant anything other than Ash trees.  Maybe we can starve this bug out of existence.  It's dream, but just maybe...
In the meantime, now I hope they come cut it down soon.  I'd like to get a new tree planted as soon as possible so I can have the pleasure of watching it grow big enough to clear the neighbour's house once again.

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