Emerald Ash Borer - now in Madison, Dane County WI

Has the emerald ash borer been found in Madison / Dane County?

Yes – the emerald ash borer (EAB) was confirmed in Dane County by the DNR in November, 2013.

Unlike 10 years ago – we know how to combat this invasive bug and YES – your ash trees can be saved.

We have preventive measures to make your trees resist the Emerald ash borer and we can heal a sick ash tree if it’s not too late; trees that are 40% sick or less respond great to treatment. We “guarantree” it. Details below.

In short, Yes, we know how to save your ash tree and will come out for a free consultation. Not every tree can be saved, and we’ll give you options. With 5 Certified Arborists on our staff – you’ll be confident in our work.

How do I know if I have an ash tree? What does an ash tree look like?

Ash trees have a special leaf pattern — they’re opposite each other

Ash tree branching is opposite of each other too

Ash tree bark has a general diamond pattern

Ash tree fall foliage

Ash tree seed pods

Purple Ash trees along John Nolan Drive

I know I have ash trees – now what? How do I know if my ash tree is sick / infested with the emerald ash bug borer?

It’s hard to detect emerald ash borers in newly infested trees. Bugs infest the tops first and work their way down.

Symptoms & signs of EAB / Emerald Ash Borer — according to the Wisconsin DNR: Research has shown that EAB infested trees may show no symptoms until they have been infested for more than two or three years. Assume that all ash trees within 15 miles of a known infestation are infested.

These are known infestation sites in Wisconsin.

Dieback of Ash tree crown

Offshoots/suckers at bottom of tree

Bark splits with serpentine galleries

Increased woodpecker activity

D-shaped exit holes from emerging adults

What does an emerald ash borer look like? They’re metallic-green beetles about a ½” long (most don’t see actual bugs – just the damage they leave behind)

I have an European Mountain Ash – is it susceptible?

No. In spite of the name, this species isn’t an ash tree.

How can I prevent the emerald ash borer from infesting my tree?

If you treat it with our insecticide – you can prevent infestation. Plus, if your tree has already been infested, you can kick the bugs out of it with treatment (this works on trees that are not heavily damaged already — trees that have 40% or less damage respond well to insecticide treatment).

Plus: just like humans, a healthy, vigorous tree is harder to make sick. Fertilize your tree every other year to keep it strong. At Cap City Tree Service, we know exactly what your tree needs. We even offer organic fertilizers that keep our lakes clean.

Best treatment plan: insecticide year 1 + deep fertilization year 2 … this cycle continues until the EAB leaves your area.

I think my tree may be infected (infested) with the emerald ash borer – now what? Can I save my ash tree after it’s infested?

Guarantree – if your ash tree is infected but it’s healthy enough to survive, we can save it & offer a guarantee. Read more.

You have several options — each of which depends on a number of factors. We’ll walk you through your specific treatment regimen based on your infestation level.

1. Treat with an Insecticide (*Talk with Darrell and Will about organic treatment options)

Researchers have developed an injectable treatment called TREE-age (pronounced triage). Once injected, the tree is able to fight back for 2 years or more per treatment.

Capital City Tree Service uses state-of-the-art ArborJet system. We inject the treatment directly into the water-conducting xylem at the base of the trunk where it is carried upward through the tree, minimizing soil contamination.

We treat with Arbor jet insecticide only if the tree is apparently healthy or less than 40% of the crown has died, is discolored or has sparse foliage. Research has shown that trees with more than 40-50% crown dieback do not benefit from treatment.

Treating with an insecticide reduces the population of EAB and prolongs the life of your tree. Treatment requires a long-term commitment. It is not known how long EAB will remain in an area, threatening the health of ash, thus several treatments may be required or treatments may be needed for the rest of the tree’s life. Contact one of our certified arborists for treatment options.

How much does each injection cost? It depends on the diameter of your tree: 18″, for example, runs about $200

How often are injections needed? Every 2 years until the regional infestation is gone.

Guarantree – if your ash tree is infected but it’s healthy enough to survive, we can save it & offer a guarantee. Read more.

2. Remove and Replace

This is an option for ash in all stages of health. Contact a certified arborist to remove trees in your yard and to appropriately process wood to prevent additional spread of EAB. Replace trees with a non-ash species suitable to your site. Here’s a list of good replacement trees.

3. Do Nothing

Observations in states where EAB has been present for several years show that all ash trees are susceptible to infestation and mortality. If you take this option, expect your tree to become infested and die. Be prepared to handle the hazards associated with dead trees such as falling branches which may damage property or endanger life.

Can I take down the tree myself?

The city of Madison advises tree owners to contact a tree care company or certified arborist. The City Forestry of Dane County will only respond to city owned street trees. No private trees will be inspected by Forestry for EAB at this time.

The owners of Capital City Tree are certified arborists.

How do I dispose of infested ash tree wood?

Keep the wood at your home and use it for firewood or mulch on site.

Work with a certified arborist to properly dispose of infested material.

Adopt a Tree

Madison Parks Forestry will provide an “Adopt-a-Tree” program for private citizens to help save, at their own expense, a publicly owned ash tree in a Madison park. Details coming.

At CapCityTree.com, our Tree Removal and Trimming Services are comprehensive for Municipal, Residential or Commercial Clients including specializing in Plant Health Care.

  • Emerald Ash Borer
  • Apple Scab
  • Gypsy Moth
  • Tent Caterpillars
  • Japanese Beetles
  • Bronze Birch Borer or 2 Line Chestnut Borer
  • Oak Wilt
  • Dutch Elm Disease

Ash species attacked by emerald ash borer include green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), white (F. americana), black (F. nigra), and blue (F. quadrangulata), as well as horticultural cultivars of these species. Green and white ash are the most commonly found ash species in the Midwest with blue ash being rare. Note: blue ash twigs are 4-sided. All other Wisconsin ash trees have round stems.

While other woody plants, such as mountain ash and prickly ash, have ‘ash’ in their name, they are not true ash (Fraxinus species). Therefore they are not susceptible to attack by emerald ash borer.

At Capital City Tree Experts, our certified arborist can easily identify infected/infested ash trees. When necessary, we’ll safely remove infected ash trees and give you advice on planting new ones. Capital City Tree Experts is a professional, full-service, fully insured tree service company serving commercial, residential and municipalities in the Madison Metro area / Dane County, Wisconsin, WI.

Free Estimates

We’re hard working, safe and offer reasonable prices.

Our comprehensive tree services include but are not limited to Full Service Tree Care, Tree Removal, Stump Grinding and Removal, Tree Cabling & Bracing, Lot Clearing, Tree Pruning, Tight Area Takedowns, Shoreline Tree Management, Consulting Services, Storm damage or other tree emergencies including removal of trees infected with the Emerald Ash Tree borer.