Just mentioning the prospect of Emerald Ash Borer will have a certain number of gardeners coming out in a cold sweat, especially when you consider just how many trees throughout the United States and worldwide, have been affected by this highly destructive pest.
Putting your garden maintenance in the hands of someone like Menchhofer Tree Care can help, as they will already be aware of how to deal with the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer.
The last thing you want is to see your trees come under threat, so here is a look at what telltale signs to look out for and how to go about taking action in order to try and save your trees from this pest.
It is the larvae that you need to worry about
The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle that is believed to have found its way into the U.S from Asia, probably catching a lift amongst the sort of solid wood packaging material seen regularly on cargo ships and planes.
How it got it here is probably irrelevant at this point, as it has subsequently established itself in a wide number of states, since it was first reported in Michigan back in 2002. It has already killed many hundreds of millions of ash trees in north America and cost many people, from industrial producers to homeowners, many hundreds of millions of dollars.
The ironic fact about the Emerald Ash Borer, is that the adult beetle, although it does like to nibble through the ash foliage, doesn’t actually cause that damage to your trees. The real threat comes from the larvae, because they feed on the inner bark of the ash tree.
The reason why this is such a problem, is that by the larvae feeding on the internal system of the tree, this prevents or limits the tree’s ability to transport and distribute vital water and nutrients, resulting in the tree becoming unable to survive if the problem is allowed to develop to a point where it becomes too late.
Difficult to detect
One of the main reasons why the Emerald Ash Borer has been able to create such a path of destruction since its arrival, is that it is quite difficult to detect at the early stages of infestation.
This creates a real dilemma when it comes to your treatment options.
On the one hand, certain insecticide treatments can be used to mitigate damage and help the infected tree to recover, but because it is so difficult to detect until it has really taken hold, you could be faced with a scenario where the affected ash tree might have become so badly compromised already, that it might be in too poor condition to warrant receiving any treatment at all.
The issues with early detection of Emerald Ash Borer are a valid reason why a survey and maintenance carried out by someone offering professional tree care services, could help you to preserve what you have.
If you have trees that have been affected by this beetle, the decision as to whether you incur the expense of using an insecticide treatment will be driven by its value, location and current state of health.
Yearly insecticide treatments do come at a cost of course, but in addition to this as a factor, you may also want to consider canopy thinning.
The research available so far regarding treatment of Emerald Ash Borer have tended to suggest that insecticide treatments are likely to prove far more effective, if the tree in question has less than 50% canopy thinning.
This is definitely a relevant factor. If you have an ash tree with greater than 50% canopy thinning, it is considered to be unsuitable for treatment and should therefore be removed and destroyed in accordance with current guidelines.
The real answer to the threat posed by Emerald Ash Borer, is to treat the trees with an approved insecticide in order to prevent a problem in the first place.
The issue for homeowners is that there a numerous options, such as products containing imidacloprid, granular products and others, that it can be very difficult to know which one to use and how best to apply the treatment.
Systemic insecticide tree implants are an option for homeowners, but as they require you to drill into the tree to apply the treatment, this is often a job left to a professional. In fact, when you consider how difficult the problem is to detect in the first place, getting help at an early stage could help to save your trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.
Steven is the Owner at Menchhofer Tree Care, an Indianapolis based tree care company that offers a range of arborist services including removal, trimming, pruning & more. Steven, with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, resides in the Indianapolis area with his loving family.