Local arborist encourages community to wait on having ash trees cut down

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Ash trees are all over the Casper community but a big freeze last year has caused many to look like they are dead. A local arborist said not to give up on the trees for three to six weeks.

An ash tree that looks dead, but its emergency buds have begun growing and it might recover in three to six weeks.

"We have thousands of ash trees and on October 10, 2019 we had a situation where the trees hadn't gone dormant yet, which basically meant the pipes or veins in the trees were full of water and it was like 50 degrees that week," said Rodolph Brothers Owner and ISA certified Arborist, Aaron Rodolph.

The temperature ended up dropping and the change made the trees cells freeze and explode which causes the trees soft tissue to die. Rodolph said as the seasons change, the tree senses there is no leaf material on it and signals its emergency buds.

"These big stocks are the trees root system trying to push out enough leaf material to support the tree through this season in this emergency situation. So even though the rest of this tree presumably looks dead, we don't know how much freeze damage there is as the hormones have only signaled up about this high in the tree. So the signaling is going to continue up through the tree and perhaps, hopefully, we'll have more epicormic growth throughout the tree," said Rodolph.

Rodolph said ash trees are very resilient.

"I just want to encourage people to wait and let it take some time to grow those epicormic sheets out and see what viable tissue is still left in the tree. I personally think there's quite a bit," said Rodolph.

Rodolph said there will be some ash trees that die but he believes the majority will recover.