EAB replacement trees

Thu. Feb. 1, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  EAB replacement trees

Emerald Ash Borer aka EAB

While we haven’t lost them all, odds are not in our favor to have many Ash trees left.  The City I live in is pro-active by taking out some of the younger boulevard ash trees and replacing them.   It’s recommended to plant a variety of trees.  It was proven decades ago not to plant one kind of tree when we all lost those beautiful Elms, and yet, what did we do?  Planted a bunch of Ash trees.  So diversity is where it’s at!

The Kentucky Coffee tree has become pretty popular.  It’s a broad spreading tree which will give you plenty  of shade, again, get the male variety if you don’t want the mess.  If you’re looking for a tough but slightly smaller tree, the European black alder might be a choice. This low-growing tree has round leaves that grow in clusters. It produces small cones, but they don’t fall from the tree. It handles poor soils extremely well, but it can invade natural areas, crowding out our natives.  In fact, the Morton Arboretum in Chicago doesn’t recommend it.  Other options include Lindens.  These aren’t as tough as the other trees but offer 30 types.

Kentucky Coffee tree
Kentucky Coffee tree
European Black Alder
European Black Alder

Honey locust is one of my favorite trees as I love it’s Spring chartreuse color that deepens to a glossy green in Summer.

Honeylocust in spring
Honeylocust in spring

Maples are an option as well, the Freeman Maple, ‘Autumn Blaze’ is a favorite of mine.  Not everyone agrees that Maple is a good replacement but I do love the way they look.

Maple ‘Autumn Blaze’

The Gingko is a good choice but only if you plant the MALE tree!  I know, sounds like discrimination.  Well, it’s just that the female tree bears fruit that’s messy and smells like dirty diapers.  Sounds backwards to me!  ?

Gingko
Gingko

A couple of newer cultivars for American Elm trees that could serve as alternatives include ‘Valley Forge’ and ‘Princeton’.  Here’s a link to more on Elms –

Elm ‘Valley Forge’

Elm tree ‘Princeton’

There are also a couple of other hybrids that the U of MN recommends.  ‘Accolade’ and ‘Triumph’.