Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a classic example of how invasive species thrive. The tiny green beetle is native to Asia and wasn't seen in the United States until 2002 when it was discovered by Michigan foresters. Research indicates that the beetle was mistakenly introduced to the country via shipping materials. Since then, the brilliant, flying green beetles have spread east, including the state of Pennsylvania. Its presence was documented in Warrington, PA in the spring of 2012 and has since spread throughout the Bucks County and Montgomery County areas.
EAB has already been responsible for the loss of millions of Ash trees in North America, and at the current rate, there’s every reason to imagine that the Emerald Ash Borer could cause the Ash tree to become an extinct species. As of the fall of 2015, it is already too late for many of the Ash trees located in Warrington, Warminster, Hatboro, Horsham and parts of Doylestown. If you have any Ash trees on your property, it's time to meet with a certified arborist from Plant Health Solutions to discuss your options.
What is interesting about the Emerald Ash Borer beetle is that in their adult form, they don't actually harm your Ash trees, except for some feeding on the leaves. Instead, it's the beetles' larvae that does the damage. The female adults lay their eggs in bark crevices of the trees.
The larvae bore through the bark and feed on the cambium of the Ash tree, cutting off the vascular flow, which is needed to transport water and nutrients for survival. As time goes on and the tree continues to feed the larvae, its own energy becomes depleted until the tree effectively starves to death. Most trees die within three to five years of the first batch of Emerald Ash Borer larvae hatch. Signs of EAB in Ash trees are not normally noticed until well into the second, if not the third year of feeding. At this point, even if the tree can be saved, it may not be worth saving since the top 25-30 percent of the canopy will most likely need to be removed.
Plant Health Solutions can inspect the Ash trees on your property and tell you whether or not they're good candidates for Emerald Ash Borer treatment. There are three treatment options currently available for treating EAB in Ash trees. The size and health of the trees are considered along with whether the borer has been detected in the canopy or not. These factors, along with the time of year are all taken into account by Peter Benz, a certified arborist. Our company offers a proven, highly effective treatment plan that comes with an exclusive protection guarantee. Please contact us for details on this program.
The good news is that once the Ash trees in your yard have been treated to survive an attack, you won't have to worry about them anytime soon. Once applied, the tree remains protected against attack for one to two years, depending on the chosen treatment plan.
If it is decided, after a property analysis, that some of your Ash trees are not worth saving, a plan for removing untreated Ash trees should be discussed. The initial eggs are laid near the top of the Ash trees. The next generation of eggs will be laid further down the trees. As the vascular flow is cut off by the Emerald Ash Borer and the trees die from the top down, they quickly become a climbing hazard and may be more expensive to have safely removed by professionals. In many cases the use of expensive equipment, such as bucket trucks or cranes may be required for removal.
Quite often, it is more cost effective to save the Ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer infestation than cutting them down.
The good news is our Ash trees will not have to be treated forever. Already, in parts of the Midwest, arborists are starting to back off on their EAB treatments. The Emerald Ash Borer has basically eaten itself out of a food source in these areas. The Ash trees in Bucks and Montgomery Counties that are treated properly and in time will make it through this attack.
Please contact Plant Health Solutions, if you'd like more information about how we can help you protect your trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.
Camp Ockanickon of the BSA has a lot of Ash trees, many used in key locations for the high ropes challenge course and as integral components of the camp site landscape. As we became more aware of the impact of EAB on the future landscape we became concerned primarily about the replacement cost of the challenge course trees but also those trees in the camp sites nestled among structures. We sought out Peter Benz to review the Ash component of the forest and those trees we deemed most important to camp operations. Peter offered us solutions for multiple forest health / tree disease problems and a comprehensive, multi-year solution that was cost effective vs removal of the trees. He provided great advice and options analysis with resulting costs for decision making so we could see the benefits of treatment vs removal. Once we had obtained approval for the costs and the program, Peter and his crew jumped in with a timely application that fit our tight schedule during camp operations.
- Frank Carroll | Vice District Chairman | Tohickon
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA Washington Crossing Council