NewsPublic Affairs / May 18, 2015

'Tree Doctor' App To Help Homeowners With Emerald Ash Borer

'Tree Doctor' App To Help Homeowners With Emerald Ash Borer

The Purdue Tree Doctor app provides photos so homeowners can determine what is affecting their trees.

Gretchen Frazee

A new phone and iPad app aims to combat the invasive emerald ash borer by providing homeowners additional information.

The Purdue Tree Doctor app allows homeowners to select the kind of tree they’re having trouble with. They can then scroll through several pictures to determine which ones look like their tree.

The app explains what the problem most likely is and gives recommendations on how to fix it.

Purdue entomologist Cliff Sadof helped create the app that he says will particularly help with the invasive emerald ash borer, that’s been wreaking havoc on trees throughout Indiana.

“Our goal is to tell people that emerald ash borer can kill a tree and that acting early in the process, when trees are starting to die in your area, before your tree starts dying, gives you your best shot at protecting your tree,” Sadof says.

Monroe County Purdue Extension educator Amy Thompson says the app can help with that by doing something as basic as teaching people whether they have an ash tree in their yard.

She says the ash borer is spreading in Monroe County and few trees will be left unaffected.

“If you have a tree and you want to protect it, you need to be identifying it, determining if that tree is healthy enough for treatment and then getting it treated,” Thompson says.

Sadof adds that catching a tree infected by the ash borer when it has lost 20 percent of its leaves rather than 40 percent, can make the difference between whether the tree lives or dies, so he hopes the app will help homeowners notice problems before it’s too late.

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