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The Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, has been on our radar since 2009, when they first started to invade New York State. Originally from Asia, these beetles are believed to have made their debut in North America via wooden packing materials from China. Regardless of how EAB arrived, these little insects are responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of green, white, black, and blue ash trees from Michigan to New England.

Adult Emerald Ash Borer (Photo Credit: Kurt Stepnitz)

How to Identify Emerald Ash Borers

Adult Emerald Ash Borers are a bright, metallic green, and about a half inch long. Oddly enough, adult EAB do not cause too much harm to ash trees. Instead, it is the larvae that feed on the innards of the ash trees. This destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark, causing the trees’ canopies to thin and eventually die. Aside from a thinning canopy, look for “D” shaped exit holes in the bark. This is where adult beetles emerge from under the bark in June. Also check for heavy woodpecker damage; woodpeckers love to feast on EAB larvae.

What to Do if You Have an Infected Ash Tree

The Emerald Ash Borer has wreaked havoc in 35 US States, as well as several provinces in Canada. While preventative treatments have been successful, the reality of treating so many trees is simply not practical. When ash trees in your yard begin to die, it is important to take immediate steps for tree removal.  While some dead trees can stand for years, ash trees cannot, because the wood becomes brittle much faster than it does in other trees. This causes limbs to break and even the tree itself to fall. Dead ash trees are very dangerous for homeowners because there is a potential risk for injury as well as property damage. The longer a dead ash tree stands, the more expensive it will be to remove. Depending on the condition, some tree removal companies cannot safely climb these trees to prepare for their removal. Additional equipment is required for their safe removal, making removal more expensive.

“D” Shaped exit hole

If you suspect that your ash tree is dying, there may still be time to save it. Contact us for an evaluation to see if the tree can be treated. For dead and untreatable ash trees, you will need to contact a licensed, insured professional to discuss removal options.

 

 

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