Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
There is hope. An inexpensive preventative treatment is available and effective for treatment of emerald ash borer. All types of Ash trees are susceptible, If you believe you may have a tree that is already infested than it may be too late for a preventative and a more extensive trunk injection is the most effective option to control the emerald ash borer beetle.
Emerald Ash Borer in CT
Emerald Ash Borer(EAB) is an invasive insect native to Asia. It is a relatively recent problem in the United States but it’s spreading quickly and is already causing a lot of Ash tree die off in Connecticut. In 2002 EAB was discovered for the first time in Southern Michigan and has been spreading rapidly since. It only took 10 years to reach CT and has now spread to many parts of the state. EAB currently has the highest population in the state in New Haven County. A recent map of it’s range in CT can be seen HERE. Ash trees are already beginning to die from the pest in Connecticut so now is the time to start treating your trees with a preventative.
Damage and Signs of EAB
EAB is a wood boring beetle, Most EAB damage is caused by the larvae when feeding underneath the bark. This feeding pattern cuts off nutrient and water flow between the roots and canopy causing canopy die off and eventually tree death. One of the most susceptible trees to EAB damage is our Connecticut native white ash, but all ash trees are susceptible to damage from EAB. Most signs of EAB damage show themselves when the pest has already infested the tree. These signs include canopy die off and extra attention from woodpeckers which strip the bark looking for EAB larvae. One of the most reliable but difficult identification features to spot is the presence of D-shaped holes which are made when the adult beetles leave the tree after pupating. Notice the small D-shaped exit hole near the center of this photo. This was an infested tree found in Orange, CT. Not only are the exit holes small but they are usually higher up in mature trees and easier to find in the 4″-8″ diameter branches.
Natural resistance to EAB is rare. As mentioned above the Green Ash is slightly more resistant to EAB than the White Ash but both trees are being killed by the beetle in large numbers. EAB also prefers trees that are stressed over healthy trees, but if hosts are limited than healthy trees too will be killed by this pest. The first step in a good defense strategy is to keep your trees healthy by having a soil analysis done and amendments made if needed so that trees have the nutrients they need to stay healthy and do their best to fend off the Emerald Ash Borer. As mentioned above healthy trees alone will not be able to survive an infestation of EAB, that’s why GreenWorks offers an inexpensive systemic preventative which makes the tree unattractive to Emerald Ash Borer and kills any beetles that attempt to damage the tree. Populations of beetles that already are inhabiting a tree may not be completely killed by the preventative but it still may not be too late for the tree. GreenWorks also offers an effective macro-injection treatment for such cases.
What Should You Do?
If you have Ash trees on your property you should start thinking about long term goals for those trees. Should you protect them at all costs? Should you treat them with a preventative? or should you just let nature take its course? The final decision is up to you but we are here to help you reach your landscape goals. If you have any additional questions about Emerald Ash Borer in southern CT, give us a call, we’re happy to help.