The ash tree is one of the most common trees found in the state of Pennsylvania. The tree is known for its versatile properties; the wood is good for making sporting equipment such as baseball bats, hand tool handles and paddles. Ash wood also makes excellent firewood during the cold seasons. However, the emergence of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) began in the early 2000s and has caused massive damage on our ash trees. Damage in Chester County and much of Pennsylvania has become serious.
By June 2013, these wood-boring beetles had attacked almost 34 counties in Pennsylvania, Chester County included. This wide spreading ash tree infestation continues to be a problem today in Chester County and neighboring communities.
The scientific name of the Emerald Ash Borer is Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire. This green beetle from Asia primarily feeds on the ash species. Due to open trade and globalization, EAB has entered the United States from imported, infected trees or shipping crates. When in its native ecosystem, its natural enemies keep the pest from becoming out of control. But outside its native home, the Emerald Ash Borer is a highly invasive species that is destructive to ash trees.
These wood-boring beetles will feed on Green ash and black ash trees. However, once green and black trees become scarce, white ash trees become a target as well. The transport of firewood and ash bark have spread this EAB infestation. Transportation of timber and wooden crates or pallets acts as a medium for Emerald Ash Borer damage to reach new areas.
Insecticide and pesticide are readily available at local hardware stores and garden shops. However, only some EAB infected ash trees are treatable. When an ash tree is severely damaged, it will die. Careful assessment is an essential step to diagnose the tree’s overall ability to recover from an EAB attack. If the ash tree is slightly damaged, give an EAB treatment followed by a monthly and yearly maintenance of approved insecticide to control the Emerald Ash Borer.
Common symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer infestations are: woodpecker feeding on the ash’s bark; thinning of the ash tree’s canopy; formation of sprouts along the trunk; and vertical bark splits due to larvae development. Further, you may see serpentine-like patterns found in the trunk and visible holes in the bark area that form the a letter “D” shape are signs. Of course, green metallic beetles on the ash tree itself are indications of an infestation.
If you spot any of these symptoms and prefer a definite diagnosis, call a certified arborist, tree service company or your forestry officer in Chester County, Pennsylvania to further assist you.
Call 610-723-8056 or 302-731-1718 if you would like to have help controlling, or a consultation about, an EAB infestation.
Stein Tree Service is licensed to treat for emerald ash borer in Delaware and Pennsylvania.