Insects such as Emerald ash borer are known to cause irreparable damage wherever they go. The Emerald ash borer has caused damages worth billions of dollars in agro-economic and ecological value in North America alone. Agrilus Planipennis Fairmaire; EAB continues to spread to new regions in the U.S and Canada.
A Brief Origin of the Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in North America in 2002. It was detected for the first time in Wisconsin in 2008 and in Minnesota in 2009. The beetle has become a fearsome sight and has spread its reach to some of the coldest regions in North America.
The Relationship Between Emerald Ash Borer and Cold Climate
In recent times, thorough research programs have been carried out to establish a relationship between emerald ash borers’ infestation and climate change. The exact relationship between cold climate and emerald ash borer mortality varies from year to year.
Ash trees come in different sizes and may react differently to EAB activity. The EAB burrows under the ash tree’s bark, blocks its nutrient source, and slowly starves and kills the tree. The EAB larvae spread rapidly and kill many ash trees that come in its path.
The EAB larvae burrow deep into the bark of ash trees during the winter. The insects are able to survive the winter by secreting chemicals that keep them warm and prevent them from freezing. The only problem is; the chemical can only help to a certain point.
Some researchers in Minnesota, after a series of observations and tests, have concluded that when the temperature falls below -20, at least 50 percent of larva-stage emerald ash borers that fester on ash trees will die. If the temperature falls below -30, the death rate could increase to 90 percent.
Minnesota winters, especially in the northern region of the state, may cause heavy mortality of emerald ash borer larvae. However, even with the extremely cold air temperatures that were recorded in certain areas in Minnesota, some larvae survived through the harshest winters.
A representative at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources opined that it’s virtually impossible for the insect to go extinct in cold winters even if a polar vortex occurs. The cold will only help buy time for landowners to apply treatment and tree pruning measures to infected trees.
Emerald Ash Borer Removal and Tree Pruning After an EAB Infestation
Tree pruning is not directly related to EAB, but it can help a tree’s recovery and aesthetics after treatment. Ash trees tend to grow larger branches which create the need for occasional pruning. Most pre-treatment measures include pruning or removal of the affected or dead tree branches. The next step is to transport the ash logs and debris to the nearest ash tree waste disposal site. Without proper precautions and management, the debris and logs can infest a new set of ash trees.
These procedures can get technical and overwhelming and this is why homeowners should hire a professional emerald ash borer removal expert. An experienced tree specialist knows how to handle infestations of all kinds. If you suspect your tree is suffering from an emerald ash borer infestation, call the experts at Martin’s Tree Service.
Cold winter mortality may help reduce the EAB overpopulation, and damage caused by the insect.
There are a lot of vital points to draw from this discourse without downplaying certain conditions like the nativity or non-nativity of the emerald ash borer, the North American region (U.S or Canada) the spread rate of the insect in previous winter climate and time required for the insect to kill the tree.
Between the late 1940s and early 2010s, some Canadian regions experienced temperatures cold enough to theoretically kill all EAB, but only a few regions in the U.S experienced temperatures cold enough to kill most or all EAB.
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