Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Green Ash

     I have a rather nice green ash in my front yard. It's about 12 or13 m high(40 ft) and about 40 to 50 cm (18 in.) diameter at the bottom. For Alberta it's not a bad specimen for green ash. There are lots in older areas where green ash would be larger. I know that in other areas of north America green ash can be huge. Specimens in Chicago would be 60 to 80 ft. high.

     Now there's been a large branch that I have been looking at and thinking that it should be trimmed so today was the day to do the trimming. The branch was about 4 or 5 m( 15 ft.) long and was parallel to the ground. Sooner or later it was going to part from the tree and I thought it may do damage to the tree.

    Taking the branch off went well when you have a light chain saw. I cut some pieces to stove length for my friend David. When I picked one of the pieces up I noticed a small red spider mite. Then I noticed that there were numerous red spider mites on the one piece of wood. Then I got thinking as to how many spider mites would be on the branch or for that matter how many red spider mites would be on the whole tree. The numbers would be astounding. So much life on one green ash.Now some people hate these little guys with a passion as they can do harm to plants.

     Later as I was picking up small pieces I saw a lime green caterpillar with pale orange pink on the back. This caterpillar was impressive as it was about 30 mm (1 1/2 in ) long and about as thick as my pinky. I've seen these before and have not paid much attention to them. I suppose I knocked this individual out of the tree when I took the branch off. Now I'm wondering what kind of butterfly will emerge from this caterpillar. I hope somebody can tell me. I'm also wondering if the caterpillar becomes a butterfly or lunch for some crow.

     So one green ash gave me a number of good topics to post on. My green ash looks better and I hope it remains healthy.


  1. I don't know about spider mites OR caterpillars. However, it's the second one I have seen on blogs this morning. Funny how people take pictures and talk about the same things. Hope you find out what it is.

  2. Interesting that you read similar posts about these critters. Spider mites seem to peak at this time of year. I see the green monsters occasionally ...not like the millions of spider mites.

  3. The spider mites will give your Ash Tree fits. That Caterpillar must have been eating the leaves..bugs are interesting.
    Trimming branches is always a good thing:)

  4. Far Side, my ash seems very healthy. I didn't notice leaf damage, but then again I didn't look. There are some dead branches which need trimming. All ash on my street have some dead branches.