Emerald Ash Borer Identification

With the ever growing presence of the invasive and destructive Emerald Ash Borer beetle in the Twin Cities many questions are being left unanswered. One major question on most peoples mind is: what does the Emerald Ash Borer beetle look like?

This is a very good question and one that I hope to be able to answer for you in this short article. After all, education is a key element in developing an effective Emerald Ash Borer treatment plan. So lets get started.

The adult Emerald Ash Borer beetle has some very distinct characteristics:

  • the adult beetle has an overall bright, metallic emerald green color
  • the upper side of the abdomen is a very bright coppery red, however this distinct coppery red color will only be visible when the wings are raised
  • the antenna is in a serrated triangular saw like shape
  • between 10 and 13 mm is the general length of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle

The larva stage of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle can be found feeding on the inner bark of you Ash tree. The larva are a white segmented borer that will be identifiable by the S-shaped tunnels they leave on the inner bark of your tree while feeding. The larva will not be as easy to find and see with the naked eye as the adult beetle. This is due to the adult beetle feeding on the outer leaves of your tree while the larva feed on the inner bark of your tree. Meaning, in order to see a larva Emerald Ash Borer beetle you would physically need to remove a portion of the bark to observe the inner portions of your tree.

This is a brief description of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle in it’s adult and larva stage. Of course more information will be needed to develop an effective Emerald Ash Borer treatment plan. There are many helpful resources out there to provide you with more education on the subject of Emerald Ash Borer. For those living in the Twin Cities Metro area I would suggest visiting the Minnesota Department of Agriculture or the City of St. Paul website; as both of these websites provide extensive information on the subject of EAB.

After further research, if you desire advanced education or want to form a Emerald Ash Borer treatment plan that meets your needs and budget, contact Sweet Leaf Tree Service directly.


St. Paul and the Fight against Emerald Ash Borer

It has been established through previous articles; St. Paul and the Fight against Emerald Ash Borer is ground zero in the Twin Cities battle against this invasive pest. As we have previously mentioned, St. Paul is implementing a strategy of “Structured Removal” for city owned Ash trees. This has left many home owners wondering what is the best plan of action for their Ash trees. Should home owners follow suit and remove their trees or can a insecticide treatment save their tree from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle?

The city of St. Paul website has a wonderful flow chart to help determine an effective Emerald Ash Borer treatment plan for its residents. The flow chart is easy to read and is very friendly to those not familiar with trees or tree disease.

Essentially a multi step process is outlined:

  1. Is your tree an Ash? Ash trees have opposite branches, meaning the branches are directly across from each other, and Ash trees have compound leaves of about 5-11 leaflets.
  2. Does your tree have Emerald Ash Borer? Symptoms include: Canopy die back, excessive woodpecker activity, epicormic sprouts, and D-shaped exit holes in the bark.

The flow chart then outlines your various options if, yes you have an Ash Tree, and if your tree has or has not become infected with Emerald Ash Borer.

The flow chart suggests the options of:

  • Ash tree removal
  • Ash tree removal and replacement
  • or Treatment of your Ash Tree

The two Emerald Ash Borer treatment methods discussed on the city of St. Paul’s website are insecticide treatments through trunk injection and soil drenching treatments. As is illustrated in the flow chart, insecticide treatments are safer than soil drenching in terms of protecting ground water purity as well as various invertebrates and mammals. Soil drenching methods also put children and pets at risk of coming in contact with the chemical, and is another reason why trunk injection methods are a safer route to pursue when considering your treatment options.

To those St. Paul residents who are wondering what their best option is in terms of combating Emerald Ash Borer I would highly recommend checking out the City of St. Paul’s website. Aside from the flow chart mentioned above there is much more information such as: persons of contact to help educate on the issue of EAB, along with links to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture where even more news and information is available. The City of St. Paul forestry section of their website is both a great resource and a great place to start for those residents looking for answers.

As always, we at Sweet Leaf Tree Service are here to answer any of your questions free of charge.



Twin Cities Emerald Ash Borer Treatment and Prevention Strategy

Since the first discovery of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle in 2009 in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul to it latest discovery in Lebanon Hills Park in Eagan in December 2014, one thing is for sure; Emerald Ash borer is in the Twin Cities, it’s spreading, and it’s here to stay.

The question on everyone’s mind is: what are we going to do about it?

Different cities across the Metro are taking slightly different approaches in their Emerald Ash Borer Treatment and home owners are left wondering what is the best approach in dealing with the devastating and invasive pest.

For example, the City of St. Paul has implemented a Emerald Ash Borer strategy of “structured removal.” Structured removal involves the cutting down of declining or infested Ash trees. While this is the strategy of the city, private home owners have the option of treating their trees with insecticides. If a home owner elects to go with treatment instead of removal, proof that their tree has been treated against Emerald Ash Borer must be submitted to the city. The City of Minneapolis is also moving in the direction of removing Ash trees while offering home owners who desire, to pursue Emerald Ash Borer treatment with various insecticides, a cost the home owner must pay for. St. Paul and Minneapolis seem to have the mind set that the Emerald Ash Borer beetle can’t be beat and are electing to remove rather than to treat their various Ash trees. This is a strategy that is not popular with residents, but one that city officials believe will be the most cost effective approach.

On the other hand the City of Burnsville has revised it’s Emerald Ash Borer strategy. Initially Burnsville city officials outlined a plan in 2010 that focused on cutting down and replacing their Ash Trees. However, due to increased evidence showing insecticide treatment can save Ash trees, along with the cost comparison between treatment vs replacement and removal, the City of Burnsville is now focusing on preserving it’s natural urban forest. The city is so convinced that Emerald Ash Borer treatment is the best approach, city officials are now encouraging its residents to consider insecticide treatment rather than moving to cut down their trees immediately.

As you can see their does not seem to be a general consensus on how to handle and deal with the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle. Some feel it’s a losing battle and one not worth fighting, while others believe that an effective Emerald Ash Borer treatment strategy can prove to be the best response. I am of the opinion that the Twin Cities can win the war against the Emerald Ash Borer beetle and we don’t have to alter our landscape in doing it.

The key to winning this war is simple: education and awareness. Knowing what the Emerald Ash Borer beetle is and how it affects your tree is crucial in our fight against this pest. Contact Sweet Leaf Tree Service today to set up a consultation and to design and Emerald Ash Borer treatment strategy that best fits your needs.

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.