April 7, 2015

Save Your Ash Tree

Treat your Ash Tree – Say NO! to Emerald Ash Borer

Properly applied insecticides can effectively protect your ash tree from Emerald Ash Borer. Kittelson Consulting Arborist, LLC, specializes in the services needed to save your ash tree. Call or email Richard Kittelson to discuss the treatment option that best suits your needs and budget.

Background on Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive pest from Asia probably introduced to the United States in wood packing material on cargo ships. Discovered in the Detroit, Michigan area in 2002, research has shown that it was in the area since the early to mid-1990s. It has spread across most of the Midwest, east to the Atlantic Ocean, and west to Colorado by human movement of infected nursery stock and infected ash logs and firewood.

Emerald Ash Borer Counties in Iowa

It attacks white, green, and black ash (Fraxinus) and is responsible for the loss of tens of millions of ash trees. American ash do not have natural defenses to EAB and trees of all sizes and conditions have been killed. The tree with the common name mountain ash (Sorbus) is not a true ash and is not attacked by EAB.

Adult EAB are a bright emerald green color, approximately ½ inch long and 1/8 inch across. Several native beetles are similar in color and size, so it is very important to have any suspect beetles properly identified.

After emerging and mating in spring, adult females lay 60-80 eggs in bark layers and crevices. In one week the eggs hatch and the minute larva tunnel through the bark to the cambium layer of the tree. Larval feeding by tunneling in the cambium eventually girdle branches and the main trunk, effectively cutting off the nutrient and water supply to the tree and killing the tree in 3-5 years. EAB prefers heat, so they start at the treetops and work their way down the trunk, feeding only in live tissue.

The larva, now 2-3 inches long, overwinter in the tree going through prepupae and pubation stages, until they emerge as adult beetles in mid-May to early June and repeat the cycle again. Once established in a community in large numbers, all untreated ash in the community will be killed in 10-15 years.