Posts Tagged ‘things I wish were science fiction’

I get along with most types of bugs. If you’d asked me a month ago I would have said that there are only two types of critters for which I have a serious hate-on: fleas and mosquitoes. Sadly, I now add the Emerald Ash Borer to that list.


Pretty, isn’t it, all sparkly and green? Ha! Those looks are deceiving.

No, it doesn’t suck my blood, make me itch, or give me nasty communicable diseases, but the EAB is gnawing its way through ash trees at a seriously alarming rate. That’s the sort of thing you hear about and shake your head at the millions of trees dying, but it all gets real when a letter from the City arrives telling you that your favorite front-yard tree has to go.

Things I didn’t know:

  • if you catch it early enough insecticides can save your tree (the City of Ottawa is using TreeAzin, an injectable neem oil derivative), but it’s got to be done early;
  • woodpeckers in your tree during wintertime are not sweet and nice (or not just), it’s a sign that the birds hear the EAB larvae moving around under the bark and are coming to snack;
  • ash trees get very dry when they die, becoming a serious hazard to anything beneath or in them (climbers and car parkers, beware);
  • the best way to pick a replacement tree is to research your options, then choose from a short list by walking out into the street and checking out what your neighbors have; pick something relatively unpopular just in case another blight like this comes along in the future;
  • it takes very little time for a dude with a chainsaw to make short work of a decades-old tree.


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