On pesticides and prevention

An interesting question popped into my inbox this weekend, about prevention from insect infestations, and use of pesticides.


Dear Don't Move Firewood,

I lost several ash trees to pests this last couple seasons here in n.w. Ohio. I am concerned about a large maple tree. Nothing visible yet but as a precaution I wonder if a treatment of Lambda-cyhalothrin would be in order. It is a product that has worked well on the beetle (lady bug). Your thoughts would be appreciated.


Roger in Ohio


Dear Roger,

I'm sorry to hear about your ash trees. I don't know if they were killed by the emerald ash borer specifically, but I know that the EAB has a lot of infested areas in Northwest Ohio, so it seems likely. What may make you feel better is that your maple tree is not under immediate, urgent, threat from the Asian longhorned beetle, which is present in limited pockets near Cincinnati. Of course, that's a different part of Ohio from where you live. Therefore the preventative use of pesticides, such as you mention, is likely to be a waste of your money in this context.


However, in general, we here at Don't Move Firewood don't have expertise in these things- that's what a licensed, experienced, and knowledgeable tree care expert should do for you. For all I know, there are native insects that you might be facing in your part of Ohio, and judicious use of pesticides to save your favorite tree could be in order. While researching your question, I came upon an excellent short impartial guide to helping you make a decision on hiring a tree care professional (visit Hiring a Tree Care Company). I highly advise that you find a reputable and well regarded tree care professional in your area to help you with your treatment (or not) of your maple tree.


Good luck! And please, don't move any of the wood from your dead ash trees!