Emerald Ash Borer: Frequently Asked Questions

From baseball bats and canoe paddles to medicines and sources of food for several types of small mammals and birds, ash trees serve several purposes. Unfortunately, there is a serious threat to the ash tree population throughout the United States: the emerald ash borer. These small insects infest a tree and will begin eating the softwood under the bark, which eventually causes the tree to die from lack of nutrients.

Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about the emerald ash borer?

How To Identify an Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer originally came from Asia and is now infesting several varieties of ash trees throughout the United States and Canada. The larvae of the emerald ash borer are very small, white, have no legs, and appear flattened. The adult is typically anywhere from one-quarter to one-half inch in length with a long, narrow body.

The winged emerald ash borer's most prominent feature is its color. The adult is metallic with hints of green, purple, and red.

Signs A Tree Is Infested With Emerald Ash Borer

The easiest way to detect an infestation is to look for the adult emerald ash borers on the tree, particularly in late-spring or early-summer, as this is when the adult females will begin laying their eggs. Here are a few other signs of an emerald ash borer infestation:

  • D-shaped holes in the bark.
  • Dead branches, particularly at the top of the tree
  • S-shaped cracks throughout the bark

Additionally, watch for increased woodpecker activity. Woodpeckers will concentrate on trees that are decaying or dead and are filled with larvae, including the larvae of the emerald ash borer.

Can An Infested Tree Be Saved?

When the emerald ash borer infestation is caught early, the tree canopy is mostly intact, and the tree is otherwise healthy, it is possible to save a tree that is damaged by the emerald ash borer. A professional can help you determine which pesticides and other interventions will help you eliminate the infestation and save your tree.

Additionally, a professional can help teach you how to protect your ash trees from future infestations, including soil and trunk treatments.

The emerald ash borer is an insidious pest that can severely damage or even kill the beautiful ash trees on your property. The best way to protect your trees is to keep the trees healthy and work with a professional to apply any emerald ash borer treatments.