Two years ago, emerald ash borer struck my region. I and several of my neighbors made the tree services rich, taking down the trees before they came down on their own and causing damages. I lost three trees total (although I gained 2.5 cords of firewood).
Of those trees, one of them was special. All of them were covered with little D-shaped holes, all of them had pieces of loose bark, and all of them had few if any leaves on their lower branches. But that one had much better bark adhesion, and many more leaves in its upper branches. Further, there are now a few saplings growing around that stump- they are full of leaves and almost 4 feet (1.3m) tall already. I've convinced myself this tree was of hardier stock than the rest, and possibly genetically pre-disposed to EAB resistance. I want to encourage that.
While I burned out the other two stumps, I've left this one, and would like to give these saplings the best chance to make it. I started this April with an Optrol (Imidacloprid) soak, and will continue each year.
What other steps should I take? Among the things I am wondering:
- Should I pick one sapling and focus on it, pruning back the others? Would this allow that one to maximize use of available nutrients and moisture? Or would it be better to wait a few years and see which ones do best on their own? Or would it be best to let it grow as a multi-tree?
- The stump. It is maybe just larger than one foot (0.3 - 0.4m) around and the same in height. The saplings are sprouting right at the edges of the stump. Should I cut it lower, cut it away from the edges of the saplings, leave it alone, or other?
- This year, some blue-white shelf-shaped fungus grew on the stump. Should I do anything about that? Does this change the answer to the above?