Archive for April, 2010

This article by Steve Kemme of the Cincinnati Enquirer appeared in the Enquirer on April 7, 2010.  You can read it by clicking on the image below.  And then read Tim’s response.

Tim’s Response:

As an eight year old child I was inspired by the beauty of those trees in Mariemont.  The memory of the contrast of the blue sky and the coolness of the tree canopy was a major influence in me becoming a Certified Arborist.

Whoever advised the Village to use a non-industrial strength treatment should be held accountable.  In 2009 a scientific research report, “Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer,” was published by scientists from five universities.  It is based on treatments available in 2007.  One treatment they consider 100% effective. You can find a copy at https://emeraldashborer.wordpress.com

Why wasn’t this report brought to the attention of the Village?  Those trees could have been saved.  For the cost of removal Mariemont could have successfully treated over 125, 18″ diameter ash trees for the next six years.

When people are faced with a major health decision they get a second opinion.  Why not do so for the trees to see if some can be saved?



As leading arborists in Cincinnati, Back Tree Service made the strategic decision to change its business model from a tree removal service to focus on saving trees.  To save trees such as the Ash tree from infestations such as the Emerald Ash Borer is central to our mission.  We also are focused on treating trees for diseases and think in terms of being tree physicians, not tree morticians.

For more information on common insects and diseases in the Greater Cincinnati tree service area, as well as tips for tree care, click on the following link.

Insect & Disease Treatment


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Here we are, it’s baseball season.  As a fan, I thought that you might like to know about the concerns that Louisville Slugger has about the Emerald Ash Borer.

As you are aware, baseball bats are made from Ash trees.  In a past article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the City of Cincinnati said that they had also thought about approaching Louisville Slugger with the opportunity to buy Ash trees.

The problem is that the baseball bat manufacturer has contracts for lumber from Pennsylvania.  And those trees are also threatened by the Emerald Ash Borer.

You can read more on the Emerald Ash Borer and Louisville Slugger by clicking  here.

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It seems like every day we get questions on the cost of removal vs. treatment.  There are many variables such as ease of access to do the removal, is the tree healthy, can it be saved, labor costs, insurance cost,  etc. etc.

The best document that I have seen in terms of giving cost estimates is The Potential Economic Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer
(Agrilus planipennis) on Ohio, U.S., Communities, by
T. Davis Sydnor, Matthew Bumgardner, and Andrew Todd.

Here is a chart that simplifies their findings for the private owner.  The average tree was 12.4 inches in dbh.  dbh is the diameter of the tree at breast height, or 4.5 feet above the base of the tree.

You can get a copy by clicking on the table above.

Of course one might find suitable replacements at a lower cost, or maybe the removal service is higher or lower in your area.  But this chart gives a good rule of thumb for the private owner.

In contrast, by treating that same 12.4 inch dbh average tree with TREE-age and the ArborJet injection system, that same tree could be treated for only


And one treatment has been proven to protect ash trees for three years.  So in terms of cost to treat vs. cost to remove, it looks like a no-brainer to treat the trees.

The way that treatment is calculated is on the total accumulated dbh inches.  In other words, you might have two, or three, ash trees that total 12.4 inches dbh.  If you have many ash trees there would be discounts for certain quantity levels, but the measurement is in total dbh inches for all the trees, not by the individual tree.

In order to ensure that tree health is preserved, Back Tree Service recommends that the tree owner also have the ash tree vertical mulched using a pneumatic vertical mulching tool.

Landscape Value Removal Cost, Tree and Stump Replacement Cost With 2.4″ Tree (Retail) Total Cost per Tree
$807 $675 $290 $1,772

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After three years of planning, Tim Back has transitioned his company from a tree removal company to saving trees.  The auction of tree removal equipment yesterday exceeded expectations, and has positioned Back Tree Service to focus on treating and saving trees rather than removing them.

Jeff McKinney of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote a great article on Tim  changing the Back Tree Service business model in order to focus on treating ash trees in the Greater Cincinnati tree service area in order to protect them from the ravages of Emerald Ash Borer.

You can read the entire article by clicking on the image below.

This article covers the auction and the reasons behind it.

You can read about how to identify the Emerald Ash Borer by clicking on this link http://www.backtree.com/emerald-ash-borer.php

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