Stop The Emerald Ash Borer

What can you do to stop the Emerald Ash Borer?

The Emerald Ash Borer or EAB for short is an evasive Asian beetle that was discovered in Michigan and Ontario in 2002 and destroys Native Ash trees. Since its discovery in 2002 it has destroyed tens of millions of trees, once an Ash trees becomes infested with the Emerald Ash Borer in can take as little as 2 years for the tree to die.  The Emerald Ash Borer has now been detected in 23 states including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut as well as in 2 Canadian provinces. If the Emerald Ash Borer continues to spread, it stands to cause total devastation to our Ash Trees, as well as cost the government and homeowners thousands in tree removal expenses. The best way to help control this evasive species is to be proactive, and help stop the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.  

Here are some ways you can prevent the spread of EAB and notice signs of their existence.

  • Don’t transport firewood Firewood transported over large distances can help spread the Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer is known to fly about ½ a mile after it emerges. The EAB spread throughout the United States can be attributed to transporting infested trees, and firewood over long distances.
  • Inspect true Ash Trees The best way to know if your tree has been infected is to inspect it, or have someone do it. Signs of an infested tree can include canopy die back, excessive sprouting towards the bottom of the tree as well as heavy Wood Pecker damage and activity as they eat the larvae.

S shaped galleries and D exit holes are very distinctive markings of the Emerald Ash Borer. The larvae makes S shaped galleries as it feeds on the tree underneath the bark, while the Adult EAB will make a D shaped exit hole on the bark as it emerges.   If you come in contact with an Ash Tree that shows these signs and symptoms of EAB damage, it is important to investigate it and figure out if in fact the Emerald Ash Borer is to blame. Is worth noting that we do have native Ash borer species, so taking pictures and if at all possible obtaining a specimen is very important in helping identify the species.

This is a photo of the S patter of Emerald Ash Borer

When are EAB active?
The Emerald Ash Borer will emerge from trees between May and June, female Emerald Ash Borers will lay eggs on the bark of the tree soon after emerging. Within two weeks of the eggs being laid, the larvae with hatch, bore through the bark and begin feeding under the bark of the tree between July and October. The larvae will then overwinter under the bark of the tree and begin to pupate during spring.

This is a photo of the Emerald Ash Borer

How does EAB kill Ash Trees?   The reason why the Emerald Ash Borer is so harmful to our Ash Trees is because they stave the tree of its nutrients. When the Larvae borers into the bark, it begins to feed underneath the bark, where tissue transports water and nutrients throughout the tree, by feeding where the majority of the nutrients are present it prevents the tree from being able to survive.   A question I get often is: What does an Ash Tree look like? This video although from another state is very helpful in helping you identify True Ash trees. It goes over the characteristics as well as informs you on how to identify an Ash Tree the easiest way possible.

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