This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ash borer survivors

The trunk of this green ash in Ypsilanti is pretty beat up, but the tree itself has a full crown, and it's the one and only green ash I have ever seen in our area that wasn't killed right back to the ground by emerald ash borer.

Ash trees are not gone. Countless green ashes have sprouted back from their remaining stumps. This is especially evident along highways, where many of the trees are beginning to reach their former heights.  Their forms are much different, as typically they now have multiple stems.

The situation is probably even better with white ash, which has demonstrated a bit more resistance to borer damage. For example, while bird-watching in Dolph Park recently, I spotted numerous young white ash trees reaching into the sunlight. In Chelsea near my home, a beautiful vigorous specimen is thriving in a front yard just down the street from where all the older road-side specimens were killed. Like many people, I am very curious to see how ashes fare in the future. Will a new wave of borers come sweeping through, or will the reduction in host material change the dynamics?

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