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Ash tree treatments under way now through June

In this article with the Naperville Sun, Kyle Omholt, sales arborist for The Care of Trees, a Davey Company, tells readers about the process and importance of treating ash trees in their community. 

Posted: March 31, 2016 

By Genevieve Bookwalter

As spring ramps up and trees begin to bud, Naperville residents should soon spot crews combing streets for one of the city's most populous residents: ash trees.

Treatment to combat the emerald ash borer starts in early spring as Naperville enters year five of its program to prevent the invasive insect from decimating its parkway tree stock.

On a recent weekday morning, Kyle Omholt, sales service coordinator with The Care of Trees, steered his white pickup truck through city neighborhoods carrying a 200-gallon tank of water mixed with the insecticide imidacloprid. In his cab are the neighborhood maps he needs for the day, marked with the size and location of each ash tree to treat.

Dressed in chemical-resistant boots, nitrile gloves, a hard hat, safety glasses and bright green shirt, Omholt is looking for green ashes smaller than 18 inches round and white ashes less than 12 inches round. His truck tank connects via hose to a nearly three-foot metal rod injector, which shoots the treatment into the ground. He spends less than a minute injecting the soil about a dozen times around each tree with the chemical mixture, an annual application. Larger trees could be treated with a trunk injection of an insecticide named TREE-age later this spring, a treatment required every two years.

When he's done, Omholt leaves an informational door hanger on the knob of the home in front of which the tree sits, letting residents know of the treament and urging them to water them. He treats 150 to 200 trees on a typical day, he said, and will have treated about 8,000 before he's done in June.

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