If you’ve discovered or identified the ash borer on your tree(s), you’ll need to take urgent action to eliminate them.
So, how do you rid your trees of emerald ash borers? That’s the focus of our discussion. This article looks at the different ways to combat emerald ash borer issues.
How to Control Emerald Ash Borer
The activities of plant or tree pests are known to disrupt normal development.
These notorious pests include the emerald ash borer known by the acronym EAB, Asian longhorn beetle, balsam wooly adelgid, black turpentine beetle, and the Douglas-fir bark beetle, amongst many others.
While there are many more, the emerald ash borer is under focus here. This pest is known to cause severe damage to ash trees within a short period.
Emerald Ash Borer Damage
Having an understanding of problems caused by ash borers allows for better response. These beetles are known to infest all ash tree types and mainly target the inner bark, which causes damage.
Such destructive action leads to a situation where nutrients taken from tree roots cannot reach the canopy.
This breakdown of normal functioning eventually takes its toll on the tree. Without an urgent response, ash trees eventually die off. It will take around 2 to 3 years of free ash borer activity for trees to die off eventually.
A widespread infestation of ash borers tends to be devastating.
Here, after prolonged activity, irreversible damage is caused. Your best bet is to have an arborist periodically inspect your ash trees to identify such issues at the earliest stage.
Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer Activity
Because emerald ash borers mainly target the inner bark of trees, they’re not readily spotted. However, some knowledge of primary symptoms linked to ash borer activity will help with proper and early detection.
Here, basic signs include bark flaking, upper crown dieback, and D-shaped adult beetle exit holes in the bark.
Other symptoms include epicormic branching, bark splits, S-shaped larval feeding galleries found below the bark, and tissue damage due to woodpecker predation.
With the appearance of any or all of these signs, it’s clear you need urgent intervention to save your trees.
Emerald Ash Borer Treatment
Can emerald ash borer activity be contained? Can trees be salvaged from these destructive pests? How can future infestations be prevented?
These questions are crucial to better understanding the enhanced containment of emerald ash borer problems. It is also essential to consider the cost of Emerald Ash Borer treatment.
When it comes to EAB control, different things are looked at. They include the degree or severity of the infestation, the protection of healthy trees, and the treatment approaches used.
These combined points make for a more comprehensive response to ash borer damage.
i. Severity of Infestation
With ash borers, the severity of infestation matters. We earlier stated that these pests could cause a lot of havoc on ash trees.
According to research published by the USDA, ash borer damage is considered significant or severe when more than half of the tree’s leaves are lost.
At this point, the best response will be to have the tree removed. While removing an ash tree helps contain further spread to nearby trees, it’s not necessarily an effective strategy to completely stall other pest actions.
Within the space of a few months, these pests emerge.
Here, it’s evident that the degree of infestation determines what action should be taken. As stated earlier, it’s best to act early when your ash trees aren’t severely affected.
Under such situations, you may have some luck containing the problem.
Because ash borer infestations are considered severe, prioritize having a professional (arborist) inspect the treatment of your trees. This allows for a better response
ii. Preventive Treatment for Healthy Ash Trees
The preventive approach tends to be the best control option for emerald ash borers.
This includes several strategies such as insecticide injections and sprays on ash trees. With such treatments, emerald ash borers cannot attack or damage these trees.
To be more specific about preventive treatments, arborists apply systemic insecticides in multiple ways. Injections and drenches are the most common of these.
A systemic insecticide may be used as a trunk injection
. This is one of several methods.
Others include the application of systemic insecticides in spray form on lower trunks of ash trees. There are also protective cover sprays applied to multiple sections of the tree, such as its main branches, its trunk, as well as its foliage.
Whatever preventive strategy is used, it achieves one objective; keeping emerald ash borers at bay—as always, having a trained and experienced arborist conduct such preventive treatment is best.
Only through such action are trees kept safe from future pest attacks.
The treatment process must be repeated periodically to ensure comprehensive protection from emerald ash borers. You’ll need to discuss with the pros how often treatment will be performed.
iii. Treatment Approaches Used
A brief mention has been made about some treatment approaches for emerald ash borers.
They include tree removal; chemical and biological control to understand better which of these is best.
Read on to find out.
iv. Tree Removal
Tree removal only becomes necessary when emerald ash borer damage has advanced.
At this point, the tree cannot recover from the damage. Plus, more than half of its crown is lost. As tree removal helps stall or slow down pest growth and spread.
v. Chemical Control
As the name suggests, chemical control involves using specially formulated systemic insecticides that are sprayed or injected into the tree.
While this is actual, only ash trees having historical or ecological significance are targeted for such treatment.
vi. Biological Control
Biological control has proven to be an effective way to eliminate emerald ash borers.
Here, ash trees found to be resistant or tolerant to emerald ash borer attacks have been selected and grown. Examples of such species include Spathius galinae, Oobius agile, Spathius agile, and Tetrastichus plannipennsi.
Formal adoption and execution of the control techniques discussed above enable you to eliminate emerald ash borers. It’s essential to have an arborist conduct your treatment procedure before it’s too late.