The devastation of the emerald ash borer is more apparent than ever. Do you have an ash tree in your landscape? Is it slowly declining? Then you more than likely have a tree that was affected by the borer. How can you tell?
• The adult beetle will create a “D” shaped hole in the bark of the tree. Once the larvae emerge you may also see increased woodpecker damage as they like to feed on the larvae.
• Dieback usually begins in the top one-third of the canopy and progresses down the tree until it is bare.
• You may also notice epicormis shoots, these are the sprouts (suckers) that grow from the roots and trunk of the tree. The leaves of these shoots are often larger than normal.
What now? Well once the tree has been affected by the beetle it’s pretty much too late. You will need to have the tree removed. This is best done by a professional as there are strict regulations on what to do with the tree.
When planning your landscape be sure to plant a variety of trees of different species. This allows for biodiversity and a number of habitats for wildlife. If we plant a monoculture of plants you will see what can happen when a disease or insect becomes a problem (such as dutch elm disease and now emerald ash borer).
An entire street lined with Ash now destroyed by the borer.
Typical borer “D” shaped holes.