What can a Property Owner do to fight Emerald Ash Borer?
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has proven to be a devastating enemy for Ash trees, and if left untreated or treated too late, almost always results in a dead tree. Thankfully, a professional Certified Arborist can detect the presence of EAB and make recommendations based on the value of the tree to the property owner.
Essentially, there are only two results of an EAB infestation. The tree receives treatment, or the tree dies. The good news is that if treated early enough, the program for saving the tree is relatively straight-forward and has a high rate of success.
At ArborVantage, we recommend a consultation with the property owner to determine a plan of action that balances their future enjoyment with a reasonable budget.
Read more below to learn the history of EAB, the treatment program, and the options available to property owners.
EAB History, Threat, Spread and Treatment
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), is an invasive wood-boring beetle.
The beetle’s first North American populations were confirmed in the summer of 2002 in southeast Michigan and in Windsor, Ontario. It is believed the beetle was introduced to the area in the early to mid 1990’s in ash wood used for shipping pallets and packing materials in cargo ships or shipping containers.
Its native range is eastern Russia, northern China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and Taiwan but because of the worldwide export of wood products from these regions, it was inevitable for the beetle to spread to the North American continent.
Since its introduction into North America, the Emerald Ash Borer has spread into 15 states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin) and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a strong flier but usually fly less than 1/2 mile from the tree they emerged from. The natural (unaided) spread of EAB infestations in North America is estimated to be less than 2 miles per year. However, the rapid spread since 2002 is most likely due to the transport of infested firewood, nursery stock, unprocessed logs, or other ash products.
Spread of EAB
How EAB Thrives
In the early stages, Emerald Ash Borers will nest in stressed ash trees rather than healthy ash trees. Once EAB is established in an area, however, any ash tree greater than 1 1/2 inch in diameter is a potential target. EAB infestation is always fatal to unprotected ash trees and takes approximately 2 to 4 years to completely kill the tree.
Millions of ash trees have already died or are dying from EAB attack since the beetle’s introduction in 2002. More than 7.5 billion ash trees remain at risk.
The key to winning the EAB battle is in early detection and preventative treatment. Once treated, an ash tree is very likely to be unaffected by EAB, even if all surrounding trees succumb to an infestation.
ArborVantage can examine an Ash tree and recommend a course of action. Treatment is simple but highly specialized. Combining the most recent research and our own experiences, we use the latest technology to effectively prevent your valuable trees from becoming infected. The chemicals and equipment necessary for EAB treatment are regulated by the government, so homeowner treatment is not recommended.
The EAB treatment regimen is typically one series of injections every two years for as long as EAB continues to thrive in the area.
Source: Cornell University Cooperative Extension