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Emerald Ash Borers: What To Know About Them And Why You Should Call An Arborist Now

by Erik Evans

If emerald ash borers attacked and destroyed most of your beautiful Ash trees, you need to take action now. Emerald ash borers have been a widespread problem in Canada and many other areas of North America, including the United States. The insects can spread to other Ash trees in your yard and neighborhood very easily if you don't remove your damaged trees. In order to save your healthy trees, you should contact an arborist for tree removal services now. Here's what you should know about emerald ash borers and why it's essential that you get rid of them by removing your infested trees.

How Destructive Are Emerald Ash Borers?

Emerald ash borer beetles originated in Asia but made their way to North America as early as 2002. The pests destroy all types of true Ash trees, including ornamental white and black ash. Once emerald ash borers invade your property, they can harm every true ash tree on it. 

Ash borer beetles typically lay eggs in the bark of the trees. After the eggs hatch, wormlike larvae emerge to feed on the trees' bark, leaves and other parts. The emerald ash borer larvae are more destructive than adult beetles because of how they feed on your trees.

The cream-colored larvae create long snake-like tunnels throughout the bark of your ash trees until they reach adulthood. You can't see the tunnels unless you pull away some of the trees' outer bark and expose them. In many cases, you may see the actual larvae as they burrow through the trees.

Once the larvae change into adults with bluish-green bodies and wings, they leave your trees by creating D-shaped holes in the bark. If your trees sustained substantial damage, you may see holes all around the bark.

Your trees may appear thinner and unhealthy at the top or crown. The leaves will begin to brown and lose their healthy, green color. Small plants and shoots may sprout on the base of the trees in order to get enough nutrients to survive the emerald ash borers' attack. However, their efforts may be futile because most infected ash trees die within 2-5 years after emerald ash borer beetles attack them.

How Does Removing Your Trees Stop the Destruction?

The only way protect your uninfected ash trees is to remove the damaged trees from your property. Your arborist may use a number of techniques to do so, including digging up and extracting the infected stumps and roots of the damaged ash trees. Even if the arborist cuts down the damaged ash trees, borer beetles may still survive in the trees' stumps and roots. 

After the arborist completely removes the infected trees, they may suggest that you treat your healthy ash trees with insecticides that kill the beetles before they hatch from their eggs. In addition, scientists are currently using natural resources, such as predator wasps, to fight emerald ash borers. The wasps seek out, attack and consume the adult beetles before they can invade other ash trees.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Ash Trees?

You may also help protect your valuable ash trees you have left on your property by keeping them well-watered and fertilized. Pruning the trees to control the growth of their leaves and limbs may also benefit you. Although borer beetles infest healthy and unhealthy ash trees, healthier trees may have a better chance of surviving if the beetles do invade them.

If you have concerns on how to remove the damaged ash trees from your property, contact your tree removing contractor today. If you don't take action now, you may lose all of your trees to emerald ash borer beetles. Click here for info about finding local tree removal services to assist you.