Native to Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer is a forest pest that has done irreparable damage to millions of Ash trees throughout the Great Lakes region, making a significant impact in the majority of south-western Ontario. It poses a major environmental and economic threat; one that has warranted concern throughout the country and continent. Keep reading to know more about this dangerous pest and how to properly identify it.
How Does it Cause Damage?
The Emerald Ash Borer attacks both stressed and healthy Ash trees as its larvae tunnel through the vascular system of the tree. The vascular system serves to deliver sugars, nutrients and water throughout the tree. On its own, this pest will barely travel a few kilometres per year. On the other hand, people moving infested materials can very easily disperse the insect across very long distances. Examples of infested materials include wood chips, lumber, logs and firewood. The insect was first discovered in 2002 and is thought to have arrived in Canada inside untreated wooden packaging materials.
Ways to Identify the Pest
Emerald Ash Borer larvae have a creamy white colour with a light brown head, their bodies are very narrow and are between 8.5 to 14 millimetres long. Adults can be easily identified thanks to their metallic blue-green colour and the fact that they emerge from a D-shaped exit hole between mid-May and late June. If you notice a tree or trees whose leaves are yellowing out of season, have dead branches and appear to be thinning at the crown, there is a very good chance such trees are plagued by the Emerald Ash Borer.
What can you do to Prevent Spreading and What Damages Does This Pest Cause?
The only sure way to do your part in stopping the spread of this deadly pest is to learn how to identify adult Emerald Ash Borers and remember what infested trees look like exactly. In addition to remembering which host trees they target, it is also a good idea to not move infested wood material to any new areas that currently do not suffer from Borer infestations. Bark chips, wood, lumber, logs, trees and firewood all fall in this category. Additionally, make sure to always source firewood locally and burn it on site. Once an area becomes infected, it is incredibly damaging for the following reasons:
- Mortality of infected Ash trees is almost 100%
- There are no natural enemies to control the spread or the population
- This pest attacks both healthy and stressed Ash trees
- Dramatic loss of valuable timber used for recreational products, building and furniture
- Extremely harmful to rural and urban biodiversity
- Results in the loss of food and habitat for natural wildlife
Need Help With Identifying Emerald Ash Borers? Get in Touch With Martin’s Tree
Identifying harmful insects properly and distinguishing them from similar species correctly can actually be quite a challenge. In addition to DIY methods and gathering knowledge from various resources, it is often more effective and safer to simply get in touch with professionals that can help prevent the spread of such dangerous and damaging pests. If this is something you’d like to do, get in touch with Martin’s Tree Service right away. Martin’s Tree is home to a team of experienced and professional arborists who are proud to share their expertise with you no matter what problem you are experiencing. If you suspect you’ve spotted Emerald Ash Borers on your property or around any type of wood material, but can’t be 100% sure, get in touch with Martin’s Tree right away for expert advice.