Healthy Trees Series – Emerald Ash Borer Is On The Attack In Connecticut

emerald ash borer close up
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Treating your Ash trees in mid-May through June is essential.

What is EAB or Emerald Ash Borer?

​EAB is a wood boring beetle that feeds on Ash trees. Our beautiful Ash trees of Connecticut have been under severe attack for several years now and the damage can be seen everywhere. There are three types of Ash tree in Connecticut, White, Green and Black Ash (or Mountain Ash). The Emerald Ash Borer is attracted to the White and Green varieties but not the Black Ash trees.

EAB eggs are laid in the crevices of Ash trees during summer and the life cycle is approximately 1-2 years from egg to full grown beetle. Some of the worst damage is done by larvae burrowing S-shaped galleries in the cambial layer of the Ash tree. As full grown beetles, they feed on the leaf tissue of the Ash tree before flying, mating, and laying their own eggs, and the cycle starts all over again.

What to watch for?

The first sign of Emerald Ash Borer infestation is thinning and dieback in the upper canopy of your Ash trees since EAB lays eggs in the crown of the tree where the thinnest bark lies. Another very important sign is the D-shaped hole that an adult Emerald Ash Borer leaves when chewing its way out and emerging from the tree. In a heavily infested Ash tree you can peel back the bark to reveal the S-shaped tracks left by the EAB larvae and you may notice a heavy interest from Woodpeckers who will also strip the bark and peck holes to get to the EAB eggs that they love to eat.

What to do if you begin to suspect that your Ash tree is under attack from EAB?

Well, that depends on the level of damage that is already done. If your Ash tree is severely infested the tree may need to be taken down. If you’re catching the problem early, you can have a reputable tree service company treat with foliar or systemic forms of insecticide depending on the diagnosis of a licensed Arborist. The most important thing that you can do for your Ash trees, if you suspect EAB damage, is to act fast. The longer you wait to get a diagnosis from a licensed Arborist, the more devastation is done and the ability to save your Ash tree decreases.

How and when do you treat for Emerald Ash Borer?

Treating EAB is best done in May through October depending on the method used. The methods of soil drenching or injection, tree trunk injection, and systemic bark spray can be very effective. Depending on the method that is deemed best for your Ash tree situation, you should have the procedure repeated each year to two years until the threat of EAB is no longer in the area.

I do suspect EAB activity on my Ash tree…now what?

Contact a reputable and licensed Arborist, get a diagnosis and get started on treating your Ash trees to begin returning them to their healthy beauty over time.

Time is not a friend to an EAB infested Ash tree so get that diagnosis and treatment started as soon as possible.

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