Emerald ash borer (EAB) is eventually going to come and kick some major ash in Pulaski County KY. However, even without this pest, ashes have their share of problems. Let's go over a few of the most common.
Ash/lilac borer -- unlike EAB, these borers tend to infest already stressed ash trees. Symptoms include tree decline (thinning canopy) and round exit holes. Pictured here is a pupal case that is often observed on the bark of ash trees. All borers are hard on trees and will cause thinning of the canopy and general decline.
Ash anthracnose -- this fungal disease usually hits in cool, moist springs. Brown spots develop on the leaves, leaves will usually fall off, but the tree will regrow a new set of leaves. This is not good for the tree as it has to have double the energy supply to create a whole new set of leaves. You may see general dieback of the canopy if the tree is infected multiple seasons.
General decline -- this omnipresent problem is hard for many tree owners to understand. As much as we like to think trees live forever, they don't. Drought, floods, improper pruning, planting too deeply, changing the grade, and trenching near a tree can all cause the tree to be unthrifty and be the start of a downward spiral.