As many of you know, a few years ago a new species of insect was introduced into the United States known as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This beautiful (visually speaking) insect has caused thousands of dollars of damage across the midwest in just a few short years. Now homeowners are stuck with some decisions with how to handle their ash trees.
Trees with EAB infestations are fairly easy to identify. Trees are affected from the top of the tree down. As the EAB works does it’s damage inside the tree, the top of the trees begin to thin. Suckers, or abnormal shoots begin to develop in the lower canopy of the tree. D-shaped holes can be found on the bark, these being caused by the adult emergence from the tree. Over the course of a couple of seasons, untreated trees are ravished from the inside, and can become a safety hazard as well as an unappealing sight.
The most effective ways of treating for EAB are done by professional companies such as Weed Pro. There are currently only a handful of chemicals that can be used, and timing is very important. Different methods are also used, but the most important part is to make sure the chemicals get into the tree to fend off the insects. A tree that has more than 50% canopy damaged, is likely better for removal than treatment. Because the borer is disrupting the flow of nutrients in the tree, a heavily damaged tree will often never fully recover.
Removal and Replacement
Small trees affected by the EAB can be removed if you have the necessary equipment. After the tree is removed, you may decide to fill it’s space with a new tree. When choosing a new tree, do some research to decide which will fit your area best. There are many great options that will give you color, shade, texture, and size!
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Emerald Ash Borer may not be the only thing effecting your trees & shrubs. Learn about all the other insects that could be eating your plants!
Author: Andrew Muntz received his Master’s of Science in Turfgrass science and his Bachelors of Science in Landscape Horticulture at The Ohio State University, Columbus OH.