These pretty little green bark beetles are smaller than a dime, but are capable of taking down an ash tree that is thousands of times its size. First spotted in the United States in 2002, the population of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has grown quickly and has made its way to the Northeast with infestations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Their life cycle
Emerald Ash Borer Adults usually come out in the middle of May, or earlier if the weather is particularly warm. The females will then less eggs, which are hard to spot since they are a reddish brown color and only 1/24 inch. In just 7-10 days, those eggs will hatch and the larvae, which is white in color, burrows itself into the inner bark and cambial layer of the Ash Tree. Here it will remain feeding and traveling throughout the tree leaving "s-shaped" marks on the bark for 1-2 years. Once it's done feeding, it will carve out a nesting area in the bark, and it will rest throughout the winter until it emerges as an actual beetle.
What is the threat?
Ash trees are one of the most valuable and abundant North American Woodland Trees. Emerald Ash Borer moves quickly and has already destroyed 40 million ash trees in Michigan alone, where it was first discovered in Detroit. With over 7 billion ash trees existing in the United States, we face a potentially devastating loss.
What you can do
Get familiar with how to identify an Ash Tree and look carefully for thinning or dying Ash Tree crowns. The tunneling mark left on the bark by the larvae is also an easy to spot sign of infestation. If you see one, DO NOT REMOVE IT, scrape it off, put it in a Ziploc and send to the USDA for testing. You can also call the Emerald Ash Borer Hotline at 1-866-322-4512.
Here at Emerald Tree and Shrub Care, we developed a comprehensive treatment plan to protect your Ash Trees from this highly invasive bark beetle. The first step is to inject your Ash Trees in Late Spring with a preventative treatment called Tree-Age. This treatment will protect your Ash Tree for up to two full years. As an added precaution, we recommend a merit soil drench once during peak growing season. The merit treatment lasts for one year, and is therefore prescribed annually. Want to sign up for Emerald Ash Borer Protection? Call us today at 914-725-0441.