Have you heard of the emerald ash borer? If not, let me fill you in on some of the basics of this nasty beetle. Often referred to as EAB, this beetle, in the adult form, causes very little damage to your trees. The problem is really the larvae that the EAB. The larvae feeds on the inner bark of only one type of tree. Can you guess which one? It's in the name. Ultimately, the larvae blocks the tree's ability to get water and nutrients. The result is a dead tree, over time. There's more you should know about the emerald ash borer.
The emerald ash borer was discovered in Southeast Michigan, back in 2002. It is widely believed that EAB arrived in the United States on wood packaging material, shipped to this country by plain or ship, from it's native area, which is Asia. EAB is new to this country, but it's not new at all, the emerald ash borer has been around for a long time in it's native land.
So far, there are only a handful of states that are impacted by emerald ash borer; Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri, Pennsylvania. Parts of Canada have also been impacted by EAB.
Will the emerald ash borer spread to other areas of the country? I really see no reason why not. It can survive in the coldest of climates, making it very resilient. While infected states try to spread the news about saving trees, neighboring states begin their efforts to stop the beetle in it's tracks, before it reaches them. Like anything else, the efforts may or may not be successful.
If you have the tree of preference for EAB, you may be able to defend them. Trees already infected with emerald ash borer will typically not benefit from treatment, unless they exhibit low "die back." Canopy die back essentially refers to the loss of leaves. Typically, this begins in the top third portion of the tree, and works it's way down.
Keep on the lookout for increased woodpecker activity on these trees to make sure you spot emerald ash borer before it becomes a problem. The larvae hatch, with small white worm like creatures coming out. These are prime feed for woodpeckers. In addition, the adult, looks a little bit like a grasshopper, also prime feed for woodpeckers and other birds.
There are some commercial treatments for emerald ash borer. Generally listed on the label as EAB, these treatments are typically chemicals. Check with local stores if in the impacted area, they are sure to have a treatment.
Emerald ash borer will kill trees in it's path, it's unavoidable. Get ready to do battle to save your trees! Arm yourself with as much information as possible.