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It’s not too late for proper planning.
Emerald Ash borer(EAB) is a beetle from Northeast Asia, whose residence in the US was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. The beetle has had drastic impacts on North American ash trees, killing tens of millions of Ash trees in forests and cities. EAB, during its larva stage, lives in the cambium, the space between the inner bark and outer wood, which transports water and nutrients to the canopy. It burrows tunnels that effectively girdle the tree, depriving it of water and nutrients. In 2018, EAB was first detected in Vermont and the state now has a quarantine, so please do not move wood outside of Vermont. Ash trees on this continent have not yet developed any strong resistance to the beetle.
EAB is difficult to detect early on, since the larva live under the bark. When the signs and symptoms arrive, the infestation is already heavy. Things to look for are excessive sprouting from the base of the tree, large amounts of dieback in the canopy, and “blonding” of the bark, a result of woodpecker activity that is not deep into the wood. Looking very closely, you may notice “D” shaped exit holes that are created when the larva mature and move from the inner bark.
No, all Ash trees should not be cut down. It is important to leave a hearty population of Ash trees in hopes that some trees will prove to be more resistant to Ash Borer than others. No, all ash trees should not be injected with pesticides. In cases of Ash trees close to the home, it’s best to start thinking about what a good replacement tree will be. While chemical treatments do offer some protection, due to their potential impacts on our local ecology, we choose not to use them. If you burn firewood, it’s a great time to switch your wood source to ash trees.
Ash trees that have died from Ash Borer are extremely brittle and removal requires caution and, at times, specific equipment. Contact us for a consultation and we can discuss a remove and replace approach.