Emerald Ash Borer
It will come as no great shock to anyone who lives in Wisconsin to hear that some bugs and insects can be-well-annoying but some species can go beyond nuisance to the point of being a menace. In our state and many others, Emerald Ash Borer has pretty much become public enemy number one. No doubt you’ve seen the “wanted posters” urging you not to move firewood, the reason being that Emerald Ash Borer is a tenacious, invasive, wood-boring beetle that eats and kills ash trees. Wisconsin forests include over 770 million ash trees and according to Wisconsin’s Emerald Ash Borer Information Source, roughly 20 percent of trees in urban areas are ash.
Under the right conditions, a female Ash Borer can lay up to two hundred eggs in her life. These eggs are deposited in crevices in the bark (Often pre-existing wounds) and hatch after about two weeks. The larvae come into this world hungry and grow fast, feeding on the circulatory tissues of the tree. While adult beetles cause a moderate amount of leaf loss, it’s the larvae that deal the potentially deadly blow, creating curving tunnels referred to as “galleries” by basically just eating everything in their path. When they’ve had their fill, they burrow into the bark or sapwood and curl up until the next season when they will emerge as adults. A good way of spotting an Emerald Ash Borer infestation is to inspect your tree for the D shaped exit holes these emerging adults leave. Other signs include twig dieback throughout the canopy, unusual leaf loss, increased woodpecker activity and splits in the bark through which you can often spot the cream-colored larvae. The larvae are about an inch and a half long with what look like pincers at the end of the abdomen. Once an Emerald Ash Borer begins eating away at an ash tree, the tree might only survive for another 1-5 years. So keep an eye out! An adult beetle is metallic green and about a half-inch long and might even be pretty if it wasn’t such a jerk.
If your tree is infested with Emerald Ash Borer, you have options. If it’s early enough, you may be able to have the tree chemically treated to prevent any additional harm. This treatment has been proven to be very effective and Tree Health Management offers Organic options. The initial consultation is free and highly recommended. An Arborist will be able to evaluate the damage and help you to make the best decision for your tree.
If you suspect your tree is infested, contact Tree Health Management at 608-223-9120 or click here.