In last month’s blog, we talked about the Emerald Ash borer, its life cycle, and the damage it produces in ash trees. This month, we will look at treatment options for the Emerald Ash Borer.
Treatment: Once infested, ash trees have often been found to die 1-3 years later without treatment. Insecticides work best for trees that are caught early and have little damage. Using insecticides for borer insects which reside inside the tree has its challenges. The timing for treatment is key because damage can be stopped but not reversed. In treatment, there are two life cycles that are targeted: the adult beetles and the larvae. Pesticides applied systemically (within the tree) through a soil drench target the feeding larvae, and non-systemic sprays are applied on the outside of the tree to target the adult beetles. Your ash trees will likely need years of control and there are options to treat annually or a treatment that protects the tree for two years.
Generally, pest problems occur after a tree is already stressed from environmental factors, and after tree vigor has been reduced. However, the Emerald Ash Borer is unique in that it will attack any ash tree, healthy or stressed. This means that any ash tree in the vicinity of Emerald Ash Borers is at risk of being attacked.
According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, Ash trees make up 3% of trees in our state’s forests but can be as high as 40% in many of our cities. Some borer damage may be too extensive to save the tree, but if caught early enough, there is an importance in protecting our ash trees. Allowing these trees to become completely depleted will remove a component of diversity within our landscapes.
If you have an ash tree in your landscape, give us a call and let us evaluate the health of your tree and determine if treatment is needed.