Ash trees are most easily identified by the diamond-shaped pattern of the bark on mature trees. The leaves are compound and opposite with 5-11 leaflets. Ash trees make up approximately 14% of the CSA forest. 

How can you tell if an ash tree has been infested by the borer?

If the tree has been infested by the borers, the canopy will be visibly thinner with fewer leaves (below left). Large patches of bark will be gone, leaving lighter spots from where woodpeckers have damaged the tree searching for beetles. You may also find D-shaped exit holes from where the adult insect has emerged (below center).

The lower half of the tree may be putting out epicormic shoots, which are many new sprouts emerging as a response to the stress as shown below.

Many of the ash trees at CSA are showing these signs currently. In this case, you should contact a forester to evaluate the health of each individual tree and provide a recommendation about whether or not treatment is an option, or if the tree should be removed.


Beech trees are often known as the initials trees, because they have very smooth, gray bark. The leaves are alternating, have short stalks and saw-toothed edges. 

What do scale-infested beech trees look like?

Scale will often appear first on older beech trees with rough bark. If you have Beech trees, look for the scale insect, which will have a white, wooly appearance, dotting the bark (left). The scale causes small fissures or vertical splits in the bark. The fungus, which is bright red or orange (right), usually appears several years after the scale. 

At the CSA, we have trees displaying light to moderate scale, particularly near the edges of the forest by the Meeting House and M-22, as well as near CSA Michigan Beach. The scale is spreading quickly, as many of the CSA beech trees appear in clusters, where it is easy for the scale to find another food source.  Interestingly it appears that some trees in a cluster do have the scale and others do not.  We are waiting to see what this really means.  Perhaps some scale resistant trees? We don’t know.

Note: Unlike the ash trees, scientists are still working on an effective chemical treatment for the scale or the fungus. There is a basal bark spray and an injection that have been developed for treating the scale, but they have not proven effective, and given the expense and the risk of harming non-target organisms, the CSA is not recommending that this be widely used.

Read More: 

Forest Service Report on Beech Bark Disease 

Managing Beech Bark Disease In Michigan



Deering Tree Service, Tom Deering, 231-228-6492

L & S Tree Care Service, Steve Fouch, 231-715-6022

Kuhlman Tree Service, Gary Kuhlman, 231-947-8921


Deering Tree Service, Tom Deering, 231-228-6492

Rob Mummy, Advanced Tree Removal, 231-590-8689