Emerald ash borers remain a nationwide threat to forests and home landscapes since they were first spotted in North America in 2002. The ash tree is the Emerald Ash borer’s most common target. Ash trees are considered one of the best-planted shade trees and needed for ecological balance. EAB has affected millions of ash trees in over 30 states and provinces.
When it comes to dealing with an emerald ash borer infestation, homeowners are faced with two choices: cut or treat. “Cut” means you remove healthy ash trees to prevent the infestation from spreading further. “Treat” means you treat healthy trees with insecticides. Treatment is efficient but requires bi-annual insecticide injections for the trees to survive.
This article aims to help affected homeowners come up with the right choice for ash trees affected by EAB on their property.
How to Know if Your Ash Tree is Infected with EAB
If your tree is affected with EAB, you will most likely see a worrying sight of dead branches starting from the top of the tree or noticeable holes in the tree bark. Another sign of EAB activity is the presence of woodpeckers feasting on the beetles, gleefully and pale-coloured and yellow looking branches mainly caused by the woodpeckers.
The inevitable choice to cut or treat for homeowners greatly depends on the cost of emerald ash borer treatment versus the value of the tree, the tree's location, the tree’s contribution to the landscape and the sentimental value of the tree to the homeowner or city authorities.
Cutting an Emerald Ash Borer Infested Tree
According to a research report published by the USDA, “An ash tree that has lost more than half of its leaves because of an EAB infestation should be removed.
Cutting or removing an ash tree is a preventative method that may reduce the risk of infestation but does not totally eliminate the presence of the insects. It’s not a long-term solution. After a few months, they may resurface again.
Treating an Emerald Ash Borer Infested Tree
An emerald ash borer treatment is carried out by injecting healthy trees with insecticides. Tree treatment and removal services inject the fluid into the ash tree trunks. The insecticides must be applied every two years or there is a high risk that the EAB will resurface.
In some cases, if a tree has lost most of its canopy due to an EAB infestation, it becomes more expensive and difficult to save.Cutting it down may be the best option to prevent it from spreading further.
Types of Emerald Ash Borer Treatment
Soil Drench Method
The soil drench method employs a distinct approach in which the tree removal service expert drenches the soil around the roots of the tree with insecticide. The ash tree will absorb the fluid through its roots and the content spreads through the tissue. The EAB will start dying when they feed on the trunk that is already treated with the insecticide. The most common active ingredient found in these insecticides is known as ‘imidacloprid.’
Surface Spray Method
You can spray the ash trees directly or inject the fluid into the tree bark. Homeowners can purchase hand-held pumps or hose-end sprayers which can be used to treat small ash trees. Most professional arborists have specialized equipment for large-sized ash trees. The most common active ingredient in the trunk injection is “Acephate.
Ash borer beetles are difficult to treat, but not impossible. There are powerful insecticides that can help with an EAB infestation.
If you have made a final decision to treat your ash tree, you should consider hiring the services of a professional ash tree removal or tree treatment expert. A certified ash tree treatment expert will ensure your tree is not suffering from any other condition and help determine the cost-benefit analysis in deciding if your tree is valuable enough to be treated or you should start afresh.