The emerald ash borer has left a path of destruction across several states in the United States. If the pest has invaded properties near yours, you have good reason to be concerned about your trees. It's possible to save your ash trees from these insects, but it often requires working with an arborist to deliver the right treatments at the best time of the year. Here are a few things to know.
Both The Adult And Larvae Cause Damage
When the adult insects find your ash tree, they feed off of the canopy. Your first indication could be damage to the leaves on the top of your tree. However, this damage can go undetected. The serious consequences to your tree are caused by the larvae that burrow into the trunk of the tree. The burrowing interferes with the tree's ability to circulate nutrients and water, and the tree begins to die.
Treatments Are Most Effective In The Spring
Your arborist can decide on the right time to apply an emerald ash borer treatment. Spring is usually the best time and when the insecticide will be the most effective. However, if the pests are discovered in the late summer, the arborist may recommend treating your tree then rather than waiting until spring.
The Treatments Work Best On Early Infestations
Before you start treating your trees for the emerald ash borer, you have to decide if the tree is worth saving or if it should be removed. An arborist can help you decide based on the health of the tree. The tree has to be healthy enough to circulate the pesticide throughout the trunk and canopy so the insects will be killed.
Early treatment of the emerald ash borer is more effective than waiting until the tree has a lot of damage. If the insects are on neighboring properties, the arborist may even recommend preventive treatments.
Your Trees May Need Treatments Every Few Years
One application of pesticide may not be enough to kill the insects and keep them away. Your arborist will recommend the schedule of treatments based on the type of insecticide used. You might need annual treatments or treatments applied every few years until the emerald ash borer has been eradicated in your area.
The treatments can be applied to the soil or injected in the trunk of the tree so the tree does the work of spreading it to the canopy. However, the arborist might also consider spraying the canopy if it's necessary.
If you know the emerald ash borer is active in your general area, even if they're still miles away, it's time to start monitoring their spread. Your county extension office should be able to provide this information so you can call an arborist to check your trees once the pests get close. Don't wait for signs of damage to become obvious before you call for help, or it could be too late to save your trees.