Emerald ash borer are small beetles that were first discovered in the United States in Michigan in the summer of 2002. Since that time, the exotic beetle, believed to have originated in Asia, has been confirmed in 35 states and continues to spread throughout Canada and the United States. While the adult beetle doesn't do a ton of damage to ash trees, the larvae get into the bark and destroy the tree from the inside. Once the emerald ash borer has been discovered in an ash tree, it is vital to treat the tree immediately or the tree is going to succumb to the ravages of this non-native insect.
Identifying Emerald Ash Borers and Potential Infestation
It's useful to know that the emerald ash beetle is a metallic green color, and roughly half an inch long. The beetles only attack ash trees, and you can notice early signs of beetle damage if you find small holes in your ash tree in the early spring. Woodpeckers enjoy the beetle larvae, so an ash tree with extensive woodpecker damage could also indicate that there are emerald ash borers within the bark.
Prevention for Emerald Ash Borers
Prevention begins with assessing the health of any ash trees in your yard. If the ash tree is healthy, with a good canopy and elongated branches, it can be treated with preventative measures to protect the tree from emerald ash borers. Any tree that is within a fifteen-mile radius of a known infestation is considered at risk, so talk with your area tree service to find out if emerald ash borers are in your area. Systemic insecticides are used to protect the tree and are put into the tree's vascular system instead of being sprayed into the air.
What to Do If You Discover an Infestation
If you discover emerald ash borers on your ash tree, contact your local tree service immediately. A systemic pesticide will need to be applied, and your tree will need to be inspected for overall health. Any dead branches will need to be trimmed off, and if the tree is too far gone, it will need to be removed. If you have other ash trees on your property, these should also be inspected.
Emerald ash borers are responsible for killing millions of ash trees in the United States. Once you discover the beetle on your ash tree, it's important to get help from your tree service right away. Contact a company like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. for help with emerald ash borer treatment and prevention services.