500 Year Old Ash Tree Is Showing Bark Damage All Over

Question From: K. Clark - Pearisburg, Virginia, United States
Q: I have a mountain ash tree that is over 500 years old that has prospered until we began to notice that the bark began to be damaged. There was a woodpecker living in upper branches so we blamed it on him. But the entire tree from ground to top is now showing damage and we've never actually seen the bird pecking at it. It's such a shame that it may not make it. I've heard of birch beetles destroying whole forests. Do you think it could be something lie that?

A: If I had a tree with this kind of history I would get an onsite inspection from a certified arborist ASAP. You can find one in your area at this website. www.tcia.org. That said, Mountain Ash are short lived trees so I believe it is another variety of ash tree. Birch beetles do not feed on ash trees and I think you are referring to the emerald ash borer. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy