The most memorable line from a particularly scary move is: “They’re heeeere.” The same can be said right now for a particularly scary tree pest – the emerald ash borer. I’ve been seeing the tiny, metallic green adults flying around all over the place, and this means danger for any ash trees on your property.
The emerald ash borer didn’t just arrive. The borers, in their larval form, have lived inside ash trees for nearly a year. They fed on the tree’s tender outer layers of wood, right where the xylem transports water and nutrients from the roots to the crown and the phloem distributes food throughout the tree. The disruption of the trees’ vascular function is what causes death.
The emerald ash borer prefers to lay its eggs in the upper reaches of a tree, where it’s safer. As those upper branches die, they work their way down the tree until the whole tree is dead. This spring, we did work in Buffalo and I saw a lot of dead ash trees there. I really don’t want to see them here, and don’t think you do either, especially in your yard.
Your time to treat with a preventive is here. I have seen quite a few dead adult borers in our area, which means they have already laid their eggs. We have to inject preventive material into trees so it’s there to greet the newly hatched larvae as they chew their way into the trees.
Once the new larvae have bored their way into a tree, we have to switch from prevention mode to treatment mode. This mean injecting Treeage into the tree annually, instead of every other year for prevention. Although treatment requires twice as many applications as prevention, the prognosis isn’t as good. While expensive, prevention or treatment injections are still less expensive than removing a dead tree and replacing it.
Remember, emerald ash borer control is not a do-it-yourself job. The most effective control material is restricted to state licensed pesticide applicators, and using anything else is a waste of money. So, if you have ash trees, schedule prevention (or treatment) before the window of opportunity closes.
Finally, buy firewood only where you’ll burn it. Not only does it reduce the spread of this insidious pest; it’s the law.