In an effort to help combat emerald ash borer (EAB) and other invasive tree pests, Valent Professional Products announced it is launching The Legacy Tree Project.
A multi-city, multi-year project due to begin this spring in the Chicagoland area, The Legacy Tree Project aims to preserve the natural history and beauty of America’s native trees by providing solutions to control invasive pest populations to communities in need.
In the coming weeks, Valent Professional Products will solicit applications for inclusion in The Legacy Tree Project and choose four Chicagoland-area cities suffering from EAB infestation as partners in the program. Valent Professional Products will then team with a local tree service company to treat a number of municipal ash trees in each of the partner cities with Safari Insecticide and cover all treatment costs of the program over a five-year period.
Valent Professional Products will also work with local researchers, extension agents and other stakeholders in an effort to educate and inform the public about EAB and the available treatment options for this devastating invasive pest. Since it was first discovered in the Detroit area in 2002, the invasive pest native to Asia has killed tens of millions of ash trees in at least 13 states across the Midwestern and Eastern United States.
“EAB is going to cause unprecedented economic, aesthetic and environmental damage to landscapes across the country,” said Dr. Joe Chamberlin, regional field development manager for Valent Professional Products. “We love these trees, know they are important for the environment and for the people in the area, so it is of critical importance that industry, municipalities and tree care companies coordinate efforts to make the public aware of the danger and help stop this threat.”
With nearly 75,000 ash trees inhabiting each square mile of tree canopy throughout the Chicagoland area, ash trees comprise a significant part of the local landscape.
Valent Professional Products is encouraging local residents and community officials in the Chicagoland area to nominate their communities for this program. Selection consideration criteria will include current state of EAB infestation, geographical location and number of nominations.
Cities interested in taking part in The Legacy Tree Program must register their interest by June 1, 2010. They can do so by visiting The Legacy Tree Program website at www.legacytreeproject.com.
In 2011, Valent Professional Products plans to expand The Legacy Tree Project to additional, as-yet-undetermined cities. More information will be forthcoming at a later date.
If left untreated, ash trees infested with EAB will die. Treating trees with insecticide carefully and when needed not only saves trees, but it is also generally much less expensive than tree removal, which can cost up to $5,000 per tree depending on the size and location of the tree.
A number of products are available for use on EAB, typically by trunk injection, soil drench or soil injection. A new, non-invasive method of application with Safari —a basal trunk spray—is simpler and less time consuming than other methods, and does not harm the tree.
If homeowners are concerned about protecting their ash trees from EAB, researchers recommend they work with a tree or lawn care specialist to treat after EAB has been spotted within 10-to-15 miles of their homes.
“Insecticides work best when ash trees are treated before showing signs of EAB damage,” Chamberlin said, “but they can also be used to rescue trees showing early symptoms of dieback. Homeowners should work closely with their tree care specialist to treat for EAB only when needed to help control the problem.”