In case you haven’t heard, a tiny exotic beetle was discovered in Michigan back in 2002. In its first 7 years on U.S. soil, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) killed more than 58 million ash trees across 13 states.
When EAB eggs hatch on the bark of an ash tree, the immature beetles bore into the bark and feed on the tree’s tissues, making the movement of nutrients and water through the tree difficult. If left untreated, the tree will eventually starve to death.
At first, people thought the presence of EAB in their state meant imminent death for their ash trees. Now, EAB are effectively treated and prevented all around the U.S.
Here are some tips for homeowners for treating emerald ash borer before (hopefully) they strike.
Tip #1 – Check this map.
Emerald ash borer has been present in Indiana since April 2004 and has spread to surrounding states. If you’re unsure if EAB is a threat to ash trees in your state, keep an eye on this map to stay updated on the spread of this gnarly pest.
Tip #2 – Get your ash trees inspected.
If you’re unsure if you have ash trees on your property, they’re pretty easy to identify. Here’s a helpful guide from the City of Lancaster.
Once you’ve identified the ash trees on your property, signs of infestation may already be obvious. Whether or not your tree appears to be affected, you should have your trees professionally inspected to confirm threats and check for preexisting conditions that may exclude your tree from treatment and preservation.
Tip #3 – Hire a professional to treat affected trees.
Some homeowners try to take matters into their own hands and treat their trees with products they find at home improvement stores. To be effective, however, emerald ash borer treatments need to be applied with the right method and dosage, at the right time, by a certified applicator.
Hiring a professional takes the guesswork out of ridding trees of emerald ash borer and saves money on multiple failed treatment attempts. Depending on the health of your tree, your tree professional will choose one of these methods: soil drench, soil injection, granular application, basal trunk sprays or implants.
Bonus Tip: It’s never too soon to have your trees inspected and treated. Considering how fast EAB has spread in the past, all trees in and near affected areas should be treated before they show signs of infestation. Be proactive!
Emerald ash borer treatments are 85-95 percent effective when applied correctly by a trained professional. Treatment costs will depend on the number of trees, their condition, and the prescribed treatment method. Cost concerns should be judged in comparison to tree removal costs, which are imminent for untreated trees and much more expensive.
We’re happy to help you decide the best way to treat and save the lives of the ash trees we all need and love.