The Q&A Archives: Griffith Ash problems

Question: I have a Griffith Ash that is about 4 yrs. old. I live in San Jacinto, CA 92583. Last year the leaves turned yellow and fell off. This year I put some gypsum on it and the leaves came back and it seemed to be doing well. However, now the bark is blistering and seperating from the tree. Especially around the base but also on some of the limbs. I am afraid that it will girdle the tree and it will die. We just had a hard freeze and now all the leaves are still green but are crisp and dehydrated and will probably all fall off. Is there anything I can spray on the tree to prevent the bark seperation. I just sprayed some dormant spray on my nectarine tree and put some of it on the trunk of the Ash. Did I do more harm than good. Please advise as I don't want to have to remove this tree and have all the expense of removal and replacement.

Thank You
Pam Marrs

Answer: I think the problem requires a more thorough inspection. Blistering bark can be a sign of insect feeding (blister bark beetles), a result of injury (mechanical or environmental), or be due to constantly wet conditions. Peel away some of the bark to see if you can find tunnels or holes (evidence of insects). If so, the problem can probably be controlled. Or, take some of the peeled bark to your local cooperative extension office or nursery and ask the professionals there for their opinion. Dormant spray is lime-sulfur which can act as a fungicide but won't have any effect on insects. It shouldn't hurt your ash tree, but I don't think it will help, either. Again, either have an arborist come inspect the tree or take some samples of the damage to the extension office or local nursery. I'm sure someone there can help diagnose the problem and recommend actions to control the problem.

Best wishes with your tree!

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