Emerald Ash Borer: The Pest and The Problem

Emerald Ash Borer is an emerging problem and isn’t going away any time soon. Since its discovery in St. Paul in 2009 many cities throughout the Twin Cities metro have put in place Emerald Ash Borer management strategies and various counties have quarantines in place to slow the spread of this pest.

Many home owners are left wondering: what is Emerald Ash Borer and what can I do to save my tree?

Let’s start with: What is Emerald Ash Borer???

  • Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a nonnative invasive insect that infects and kills ash trees.
  • Originating in Asia, EAB was first discovered in the US in 2002 and in Minnesota in 2009
  • Emerald Ash Borer Beetles only attack Ash Trees
  • Adult Beetles are metallic green and about 1/2-inch long. The adult beetles damage your tree by feeding on leaves. This will decrease the beauty of your tree but will have little effect on the health and longevity of your trees life span.
  • The Emerald Ash Borer Larvae are the destructive stage of the pest. The larva feed on the inner bark of the tree leaving S-Shaped tunnels. These S-Shaped tunnels damage the vascular system of the tree and disrupt the transportation of nutrients throughout the tree. This disruption ultimately leads to the death of your tree.

What Can I do to save my Tree??

First identify if your tree has Emerald Ash Borer. The four main symptoms include:

  1. Excessive wood pecker activity; as they feed on the larva living inside your tree
  2. Canopy die back
  3. Sprouts growing at the base of an Ash Tree; known as Epicormic sprouts
  4. 1/8 inch D shaped exit holes in the bark of your tree.

A tree care professional can assist you in determining if your Ash Tree is infected with Emerald Ash Borer.

Once it has been determined your tree is infested it is imperative that you take action immediately as an infested Ash Tree can die within 2-3 years. YES – an infected tree can still be saved, but only with prompt insecticide treatment.

Contact a Certified Pesticide Applicator to discuss your treatment options.

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