In recent years, the invasive insect Emerald Ash Borer has been making its way up Wisconsin leaving a devastating majority of dead ash trees in its wake. The Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in the Midwest in 2002 and has since killed off 10’s of millions of native ash. With the alarming rate of spread, it was only a matter of time before the Emerald Ash Borer made its way to Lake Country. Now that it is here you need to act fast if you wish to save your ash tree population.
What are your options?
Treating trees you wish to save
- EAB injections have proven to be up to 98% effective with saving your ash tree population
- Injections must occur every two years
- In most cases getting your ash trees injected is significantly cheaper than having your tree removed and losing their associated benefits
- Consider saving trees with high sentimental, historical or landscape value
- Even if your tree already is infected with EAB it CAN still be saved if caught early
- If nothing is done to the ash trees on your property they stand a high risk of being infested with the EAB
- Most trees infested with EAB will completely die in around 5 years
- Property owners with dead Ash trees will be at a very high risk of limbs breaking and trees falling a short while after these trees have died
- Unlike some species, when EAB infected ash trees die, they are not structurally sound and will start dropping limbs quickly
- By thinning out your ash population now, you can replant with other native species not susceptible to disease
- By the time your remaining population of untreated ash is infested with EAB your diverse plantings should be well established and ready to grow into the over story
How to Identify EAB
Wood pecker flecking
- One of the easiest ways to tell if an ash tree is infested with EAB larvae is by looking for signs of bark flaking off from wood peckers.
- If you peel the bark away on an EAB infected tree often times you can find S shaped galleries where the larvae has been feeding
- When the EAB has finally become an adult it will bore its way out through the bark layer, in perfect conditions the borer will leave a clear D shaped exit hole on its way out
- Often EAB isn’t noticed in a tree until it is too late, typically the larvae will start at the top of the tree and work its way down
- By the time dead lower limbs are noticed there is a good chance the EAB larvae has been in the tree for a great deal of time
- Observe for the tops of your ash tree for large abnormal pockets of dead wood
- A very good indicator that any tree is stressed or under attack is by looking for an abnormal amount of water sprouts off the main bole of the tree
- This typically indicates that the tree knows it is under attack and is doing everything it can to fight to stay alive
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