There are many reasons why people choose to plant trees on their property, which include to improve the appearance of the landscape and to provide shade. It's often necessary for homeowners to contact a tree service to trim their trees, care for diseased trees and to remove trees. We aren't affiliated with tree service professionals but we think homeowners should understand the importance of tree specialists and why their services are needed. We researched tree care and talked to professionals in the tree service industry to obtain the information we needed for this blog. As you read these articles, you'll learn when it's necessary to contact a tree service to maintain and care for your trees.
Most bugs are black or brown in color and rather unattractive. The emerald ash borer is a bit of an exception in this regard. Its brilliant green exoskeleton calls a lot of attention to itself. If you're not squeamish, you might even find this bug attractive. But rest assured — your ash trees have a different opinion.
This article will shed some light on the destructive emerald ash borer, its habits, and what you should do if these bugs have invaded your ash trees.
What is the emerald ash borer?
Sadly, the emerald ash borer is not a mythical creature from the Emerald Isle. It is instead an Asian species of beetle that has been introduced to the U.S. over the past decade. It clearly likes the environment here as it has bred extensively and spread all over the country.
The ash borer has a complex life cycle. Adults lay their eggs on the bark of ash trees. Those eggs hatch into larvae, which burrow into the tree's inner layers. There, the larvae eat the tree's vascular tissue before eventually turning into adults. As adults, they crawl their way out of the tree, leaving D-shaped exit holes in the bark.
What are the signs of an emerald ash borer infestation?
It's not difficult to tell if these bugs have taken up residence in your ash tree. They affect all species of ash that are common in the U.S. You might see the bugs themselves, or you might simply notice the very obvious, D-shaped holes in the bark. No other bugs leave holes that are this distinct shape.
Your tree will also start dying pretty quickly. A few branches may turn brown and start losing their leaves. A few months later, more branches will die. The tree will likely be completely dead within two or three years.
What should you do if your tree is infested?
There are some cases in which a tree care expert can inject the tree with certain pesticides and save it from the borers. But, this is only effective when the infestation is caught really early. Most people don't notice the borers until the infestation is more serious, and in that case, you really need to have the tree removed.
You could wait until the tree is completely dead to remove it, but it's actually better to do it sooner. This will reduce the number of bugs around, which will help protect other ash trees in the area. Any tree removal service should be able to come remove the tree.
The emerald ash borer might be pretty, but the damage it causes is not attractive. Reach out to a tree care company like Baumann Tree if you'd like to learn more.