EAB, The Real Deal!
Over the years there have been many real and imagined pests and diseases that have destroyed or threatened to destroy our forests. With this in mind I was somewhat jaded when the Emerald Ash Borer was put to the top of the list as the latest threat to our trees. Not again must have rolled off the tongues of every tree lover in
After following the progression of this pest from infesting a few counties in the
Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic pest that was introduced accidentally into
It took several years before any one found the initial colonization and by then this prolific insect had developed a large population. The adults themselves feed on the leaves of ash trees but cause little damage. In late June to early July, they lay there eggs on the bark of ash trees usually in cracks crevices and fissures. The eggs hatch, burrow into the inner bark, the cambium layer and begin to chew their way though the vascular cambium layer in up to foot long serpentine feeding galleries. The larvae pupate and over winter under the bark of the trees and emerge as adults the following May or June. The beetles emerge from a small D shaped hole around 1/8th of an inch in size.
The tree is unable to survive the injury to its vascular system, starts to wilt and die back and will last only one to three years once infested.
The initial area of North America has now expanded to over twenty thousand square miles and includes five states and the
Recently additional infested trees have been found further east in
Do not transport firewood from areas where the beetle is known to exist. As a measure of the severity of this threat, note that national agencies have begun an ash seed library to prevent ash tree extinction if quarantine measures are not successful.
Contact your local ISA certified arborist for up to date local information. Be on the look out for unusual die back in ash trees.