All ash trees in Rochester in trouble

Local News

Now is the time to take a closer look at the trees in around the yard as one species is expected to be gone by next year. Experts say the ash tree will be wiped out of Rochester by the end of next year if they go untreated.

The emerald ash borer can be to blame for the devastation to ash trees. One owner in Rochester had to have all 17 of his ash trees removed. “They were about 20 feet tall when we first got here,” said Kieran ‘Gary’ Gilhool. He moved in over 50 years ago the giant trees were part of the family. 

“Family photos of kids all hiding behind the trees,” said Gilhool. Then the signs started to show around five years ago. “The woodpeckers were moving in, and the bark was dropping onto the ground.” He already knew the trees near the house would have to go, so that is when he called in Birchcrest Tree and Landscape.

“They’re too far gone to treat at this point,” said Dave Dailey, president of Birchcrest Tree and Landscaping. Emerald ash borer, an invasive bug from Japan, has taken over and that is a death sentence for the tree.

“Sometimes we can save the trees. Sometimes, like in this case, they’re too far gone,” said Dailey. He said now is the time to treat them before they take over. “Every ash tree in the rochester area is going to die that is not going to be treated. And if they are not treated then they will likely die.

“Once they die they become weak pretty quickly, and become a danger of falling,” said Dailey. In the chipper they go. Gilhool is keeping a level head.

“You got to look at the positives. we still have the woods behind us,” said Gilhool. This is better than the alternative.

“I’d hate to have them go through the house, so, the choices are limited,” said Gilhool.

All seventeen ash trees in the yard have been removed. Experts say  that within Rochester and Monroe County, the west side is near a total loss and the east side is getting there, but many trees can still be salvaged.

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