As summer takes its warm hold, tree lovers and caretakers find themselves facing a notorious adversary, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This beetle, native to northeastern Asia, has become an invasive species in North America, causing major damage to ash tree populations. Known for their emerald green color, these beetles might look harmless but can wreak havoc on your ash trees during their peak season. Crecraft for Treecraft will walk you through the EAB’s peak season, the damage it causes, and how you can protect your precious trees.
When are Emerald Ash Borers Active?
The EAB is a beetle species that lays its eggs in the bark of ash trees. Upon hatching, the larvae burrow into the tree, creating “S” shaped tunnels, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, eventually leading to the tree’s death. The peak activity season for the Emerald Ash Borer is during the warmer months, from late spring through early fall. However, it is important to note that the damage can become apparent only months or even years later.
How to Tell if an Ash Tree is Infected with Emerald Ash Borer?
Knowing what to look for is the first step in managing an EAB infestation. Signs of an EAB infestation include:
• D-Shaped Exit Holes: As adult borers exit the tree, they leave behind a distinctive D-shaped hole in the bark.
• S-Shaped Larval Galleries: Larvae create serpentine tunnels under the bark that are visible if the bark is peeled back.
• Crown Dieback: As the borer disrupts the tree’s vascular system, the upper and outer portions of the tree may begin to die.
• Sprout Shoots: In response to the stress caused by the borer, trees may begin to sprout shoots from the trunk and roots.
How Do You Keep Ash Trees Healthy?
The most effective way to protect your trees is through a combination of prevention, early detection, and treatment.
• Prevention: If you live in an area known to have EAB, it may be best to avoid planting ash trees. If you already have ash trees, applying preventative insecticides can help. These are typically applied in the spring, just before the EAB starts to emerge.
• Early Detection: Regularly inspect your ash trees for signs of EAB damage. This should ideally be done by a professional arborist, as they are trained to spot the early signs of an infestation.
• Treatment: If an infestation is detected, the tree may need to be treated with a specific insecticide. This can often save the tree if applied early enough. In some severe cases, the tree may need to be removed to prevent the beetles from spreading to other trees.
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While the Emerald Ash Borer poses a major threat to ash trees, awareness of its peak season, signs of damage, and preventive measures can aid in safeguarding your beloved trees. Consulting with a professional can provide the best defense strategy against these invasive pests. If you need help protecting your ash trees, contact Crecraft for Treecraft for tree services today.