Emerald Ash Borer: How to Save Your Trees and Stop the Spread of this Invasive Pest

Emerald Ash Borer

What is the Emerald Ash Borer

Dealing with Trees Infected by the Emerald Ash Borer The Emerald Ash Borer is a small, metallic green beetle that has been causing significant damage to ash trees in North America since it was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this invasive species, and once a tree becomes infected, it will likely die within a few years. However, there are steps you can take to manage the situation and prevent further spreading of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The first step in dealing with an infected tree is to identify it. This is crucial because different tree species can be susceptible to different types of infections. In the case of ash trees, which are particularly vulnerable to the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle, it is important to be aware of the symptoms of an infection.

One common symptom of an infected ash tree is thinning of the canopy. As the EAB beetles feed on the inner bark of the tree, they disrupt the flow of nutrients and water, causing the tree to weaken. This can result in branches dying off and a noticeable reduction in the density of the tree’s foliage.

Emerald Ash BorerAnother telltale sign of an infected ash tree is the presence of D-shaped exit holes in the bark. These small, distinctively shaped holes are created by adult EAB beetles emerging from the tree after completing their larval stage. If you notice these exit holes on your ash tree, it is a strong indication that the tree is infected.

Vertical splits in the bark can also be a symptom of an ash tree infection. As the EAB beetles tunnel and feed under the bark, they create galleries that can cause the bark to crack and split vertically. These splits can be quite pronounced and extend from the base of the tree to the upper branches.

Options for Managing an Infected Tree: Treatment or Removal?

Once you have confirmed an infection, the next step is to decide what to do with the tree. If the tree is small and has not yet lost too much foliage, it may be possible to treat it with insecticides. However, this is a costly and time-consuming process that will need to be repeated annually. It is also not guaranteed to save the tree. If the tree is large or has already lost a significant amount of foliage, it may be best to remove it. This is especially important if the tree is located near other ash trees, as the Emerald Ash Borer can quickly spread to neighboring trees.

When removing an infected tree, it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. This includes properly disposing of the wood, either by burning it or taking it to a landfill that accepts infected material. It is also important to avoid transporting firewood from infected areas, as this is one of the main ways the beetle spreads.

Get help from a certified arborist

If you have ash trees on your property, it is important to monitor them regularly for signs of an infection. Early detection and treatment can help save the tree and prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer. Dealing with an infected tree can be challenging, but taking swift action and seeking professional advice is crucial. By identifying the signs of infection and getting the appropriate help, you can make informed decisions on how to best manage the situation and protect the health of your trees. If you think you have ash trees infected with EAB, or are unsure about how to identify an infection, or what steps to take, contact Kingston Tree Service for assistance at 613-777-6441.