There is a bit of a panic right now in Missouri, especially in parks and neighborhoods where ash trees were planted decades ago -- my own city and street included. The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived, and that means that our ash trees will soon be a memory only. I'm not too worried about our forests, as only about 7 percent of the trees in our about 15 million acres of forests will be affected, and I'm not even too concerned about my own garden.

You see, my single remaining ash tree is kind of a jerk.


As evidence of its jerkiness I will mention the fact that it's had problems with some sort of borer for as long as I've lived here (over 20 years) and dead branches drop every year. (As a side note I will also mention that it once had a sibling that was in worse shape and was removed at least 10 years ago, which gave my sugar maple and my neighbor's oak more space -- so positive outcome there.)

What primarily makes this tree a jerk though is its propensity to produce seeds.

If you thought silver maples were bad, spreading their helicoptering samaras far and wide... well, they're still probably the worst actually.

My ash tree though is a close second.

Like the maples, seedlings sprout everywhere:

They grow pretty fast too, although they're not too bad to pull even after a second year of growth -- as long as the soil is moist.

I have them mainly in the front and side gardens, as the house seems to keep most of the seeds from making it to the back (where the silver maples almost have a sapling monopoly).

I'll be sweeping these up all summer, and pulling saplings forever...

Just the first few ash seeds to drop, late May 2018 least until the EAB does its worst.

Note that I've been thinking about which type of tree to use as a replacement for 10 years. I still haven't decided.


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Renee  – (June 25, 2018 at 7:58 AM)  

EAB is orerty scary! Do you think you'll replace your tree preemptively, esp since it's a jerk, as you say?

Hoover Boo  – (June 25, 2018 at 7:20 PM)  

There's a trashy Ash here, though our drought makes them less invasive.
It will be fun to select a better tree, and necessary to adjust to a loss of shade for a while.

I'm still pulling Cercis seedlings how many years after digging those things out.

danger garden  – (June 26, 2018 at 12:25 AM)  

Huh, I think you’ve just identified what I’ve been pulling around my garden this spring. I wonder where the mama plant is? So are you looking forward to tree shopping. Or dreading it?

Alan  – (June 26, 2018 at 5:44 PM)  

Renee: Maybe, if I find something I love and feel ambitious this fall.

Loree: Always love tree shopping! I don't think I've bought one since I've had the blog... maybe 10 years or more. It's the removal I'm dreading.

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