A step-by-step guide to detecting emerald ash borer tree infestation
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), scientifically known as Agrilus planipennis, has caused widespread devastation, leading to the loss of countless ash trees across 30 states in the United States. This invasive pest from Asia likely went to the U.S. through concealed wood packaging materials. Emerald Ash Borer was first identified in the United States in southeastern Michigan in 2002. While several treatment options exist to manage EAB infestations, it’s crucial to identify the signs of infestation first.
Emerald Ash Borer
- The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle known for its destructive effects on ash trees by consuming the tissues under the bark. While spotting the EAB beetles is not easy, the damage they cause to ash trees is more commonly observed. Adult EAB beetles are small, less than half an inch, with a shiny green appearance. They spend their short lives inside ash trees, looking for mates.
However, the real damage is caused by the larvae of the adult ash borer known as baby beetles. They tunnel beneath the bark of ash trees, feeding on the living tissue. As larvae infestation grows, it ultimately leads to the death of the ash tree, typically within 2 to 4 years after infestation.
Signs of Emerald Ash Borer Infestation
If you notice one or more of the following signs, your tree is infested by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB):
- Look for light patches or bark flecking in the tree’s upper branches. This may be due to woodpeckers feeding on EAB and other insect larvae in the tree.
- Observe the upper branches of the tree. While it’s normal for trees to have some dead wood, an unusually high number of dead branches at the top of the tree is indicative of an EAB infestation.
- Check for bark cracks on the tree. EAB larvae tunnel beneath the bark, and their activity can cause it to split open, often revealing distinctive S-shaped larval tunnels underneath.
If you notice any of these signs in your ash tree, it’s advisable to consult a professional arborist or tree expert for a proper assessment and potential treatment options to mitigate the EAB infestation. Early detection and intervention can help protect your tree and prevent further damage.
Sources of EAB
Emerald Ash Borers (EAB) can find their way into new areas and infest ash trees through various sources, including:
- Ashwood products
- Infested ash plantings and trees
- Ashwood packing material
- Ashwood debris and trimmings
Due to their potential to carry and spread EAB, it’s essential to exercise caution and follow guidelines to prevent the unintentional spread of these destructive pests to un-infested areas.
- Avoid transporting firewood, as EAB larvae can remain hidden within firewood bark. Always purchase and use locally sourced firewood.
- Conduct regular tree inspections. If you observe any symptoms of an EAB infestation, promptly contact professional arborists for guidance.
- When purchasing firewood, inquire about its origin and the supplier’s details, as larvae may be concealed beneath the bark.
- Stay informed about any quarantines applicable to your locality and learn about State and Federal regulations.
We can treat and prevent your ash trees from becoming infected and help already infected trees. At American Tree Experts, Inc., we offer the best services to keep your plants out of harm’s way. Our pest management services protect your trees from pests throughout the year. Our most sought-after services are pruning, bracing, pest management, and nutritional management. We offer services in Montclair, New Jersey. Call us at 973-744-6091 for a free quote.