Emerald Ash Borer
An invasive insect first found in North America in 2002, Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed millions of ash trees in Ohio and neighboring states. The voracious beetle, which only attacks true ash trees in the Fraxinus genus, has been confirmed in most Midwestern and eastern U.S. states and in Canada. “Our understanding of how EAB can be managed successfully with insecticides has increased substantially in recent years,” said Dr. Dan Herms, an entomologist with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) and OSU Extension. “There are effective treatments available for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers, including some that are applied in the soil, injected in the trunk of the tree, or sprayed on the trunk, branches or foliage.” Most counties in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky are currently infested or becoming infested. For some trees, it is likely too late to treat. By far the most effective treatment Arbor Doctor has found for Emerald Ash Borer during high infestation periods is the professionally injected Treeage (Emmamectin Benzoate). For the latest information on quarantines and maps, go to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Emerald Ash Borer Program Site or call (888) OHIO-EAB. If your ash tree is already infested and has lost more than 50 percent of its canopy, Herms said, it is probably too late to try to save it. 30% canopy thinning seems to be the threshhold where treatment goes from almost certain success to more marginal. Even when treatment is started early in the infestation, signs of improvement may not show until the second year of treatment as the tree needs time to repair its vascular system. Budget, of course, is another important consideration. Most garden center insecticides need to be applied every year to be effective, which can be expensive. However, Emamectin Benzoate, or Tree-age, only available through professional applicators such as Arbor Doctor, is effective for two years.” These treatments are not cheap, and it may be more cost-effective to replace the ash trees with other species,” Herms pointed out. “But some people have a strong emotional attachment to their trees, and for them it may be worth investing in these insecticide treatments. Landscape trees also have other benefits, such as increasing property value, providing shade and cooling, and increasing the quality of life in a neighborhood. So there are many factors to take into account when making this decision.” Another good resource is the Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees From Emerald Ash Borer Fact Sheet, by the North Central IPM Center. Don’t wait any longer; take this opportunity to schedule a tree evaluation. Contact Arbor Doctor today.