By now, you have most likely heard of the emerald ash borer. First discovered in Ontario in June 2002, this beetle is originally native to Asia. The beetle is believed to have entered the United States on wooden packing materials from China. It most likely crossed into Ontario at Windsor after establishing in the Detroit area. Experts believe that the beetle was introduced to North America from China, possibly in the 1990s.
Although the bright metallic green beetle may only be as small as a dime, it is capable of taking down ash trees thousands of times its size. The emerald ash borer is considered one of the most destructive insects to hit our area in years. It is currently one of the leading causes of tree removal due to infestations in Ontario.
About the Emerald Ash Borer
Adult beetles usually emerge in late May from infestation to the trees from the previous year. Females tend to lay their eggs shortly after, and the larvae bore into the ash tree and feed under the bark. This feeding disrupts the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients resulting in bark splitting and dieback.
The emerald ash beetle adults are metallic blue-green. Their bodies are narrow and range from 8.5 to 14 millimetres long. Their larvae are a creamy white colour with a light brown head. If you see any signs of these invasive beetles on your ash trees, contact Martins Tree Service immediately.
The Destruction of Ash Trees
The emerald ash borer has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees throughout Canada and the United States since it was found in 2002. Since its discovery, it didn’t take long for it to become a problem. Small trees can die as soon as one to two years after infestation, while larger trees can survive for three to four years. All native and introduced ash trees are susceptible to this invasive species.
The emerald ash borer attacks both healthy and stressed ash trees. It will only travel a few kilometres per year on its own, however, it can be easily dispersed by people moving infested materials such as logs, lumber, and firewood. To help stop the spread of the emerald ash borer, do not move infested wood material from regulated zones to new areas and be on the lookout for any signs of infestation.
By knowing the symptoms of the emerald ash borer, you can help to save your trees. Look for thinning or dying of crowns, tunnelling under the bark, splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, and woodpecker activity. Vertical strips of missing bark (called flecking) are often left from the woodpecker feedings. New growth may also begin spurting at the lower levels of the tree as the tree works to save itself.
Ash Trees Add Great Value
Ash trees provide a shade canopy that can be a powerful barrier against summertime heat. For this reason and more, they add great value to your property. Unfortunately, for all their size, beauty, and bulk, ash trees can fall prey to the emerald ash borers if you are not prepared. In fact, larger and more mature trees are actually more vulnerable to these pests. If you have an ash tree on your property, prevention is a must!
Contact the experts at Martin’s Tree Service today for regular maintenance and services,
including pruning, tree removal, stump grinding, planting, cabling, mulching and lot clearing. With regular services, we can help ensure your trees stay healthy and strong.