Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an invasive wood boring beetle from Asia that is predicted to infest all unprotected ash trees in the United States and Canada over the next 20 years. Its population spreads very quickly and has already resulted in the death of 10’s of millions of ash trees since it was discovered in 2002.
So far, EAB has been found throughout the upper Midwest, as far east as Maryland and New York, and as far west as Minnesota and Iowa.
Emerald Ash Borer Infestations, Signs and Symptoms
Emerald ash borer lays its eggs on the bark of an ash tree and the larvae tunnel through the bark and begin consuming the sapwood of the tree. This feeding disrupts water flow to the canopy, dehydrating and killing that portion of the tree. Eventually, the whole tree will die.
Early infestations of emerald ash borer are nearly impossible to detect because the tree does not show outward symptoms at first. However as the infestation grows, the tree will decline and then die.
Emerald ash borer symptoms you will see as the infestation progresses:
- Early-than-usual fall coloration
- Dieback of branches with sparse foliage
- New branches sprouting from the lower trunk
- Woodpeckers feeding on infested trees
- D-shaped exit holes
- Decline in groups of ash trees all at the same time
How to Treat For Emerald Ash Borer
The treatment you should use for emerald ash borer depends on whether your tree is showing symptoms (therapeutic treatment) or is still healthy (preventative treatment). Regardless of the treatment strategy, watering after treatment is important.
Prevent emerald ash borer on healthy trees with Xytect – If your tree is important and valuable, and does not have a visible infestation, protecting it from emerald ash borer is smart, affordable and effective. Xytect™ is a professional strength insecticide for treating emerald ash borer that can be mixed with water and poured at the base of the tree. Annual treatments are required to maintain protection. This product can be applied from March through June or September through November, but the optimal treatment time is March through May. Start treatment for emerald ash borer when you are in a quarantined county and before symptoms appear.
See our video on How to Apply a Liquid Soil Drench - it’s not hard and it only takes 10 minutes.
For treatment in already infested areas, use Transtect – a fast moving insecticide that is applied to the soil at the base of the tree.
For the first year of treatment, treating infestations with Transtect will get insecticide into the tree very quickly and kill off the problem.
You can follow-up in subsequent years with a preventative treatment like Xytect™.
More Information on Emerald Ash Borer
The Tree Geek is the premier source for information on emerald ash borer. Not only for homeowners in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio, but all across the USA. Here’s some more stuff to check out:
- Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet
- Emerald Ash Borer Information
- Video: How to Apply a Liquid Soil Drench
- Emerald Ash Borer Outbreak Updates and Alerts
- Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer
Neighborhood groups are forming all over the country to protect against the spread of emerald ash borer. If you are interested in learning more, you can request a Free “Save Our Shade” Neighborhood Prevention Packet and join the fight.