Soon the tiny, metallic green emerald ash borers (EAB) will make their annual appearance. Seeing these tiny insects is rare because of their size. Their sole purpose is to mate so a new generation of larvae can continue the damage the adults began last year. And, they do this dastardly deed high up in the tree.
Does this mean your ash tree is doomed? Yes, if you don’t have us treat it. Even then, it’s an ongoing process with no guarantees. However, the cost to have your tree treated for a considerable period of time is less than the cost of having a mature tree removed and replaced.
Ash trees with a half or more of their foliage remaining are good candidates for treatment. They have a good chance of surviving. Those with less than 50 percent are doomed.
EAB can be prevented. If your ash tree shows no EAB symptoms, we can apply a preventive every two years. It’s the same material that we apply to infested trees. However, infested trees have to be treated annually.
Applications, whether for treatment or prevention, have to be made systemically. This means injecting the material directly into the tree because the EAB spends most of its life inside the tree. It literally destroys the tree from the inside out.
Systemic materials strong enough to control the EAB are sold only to trained, licensed professionals. A diluted, consumer version of several products are sold in garden stores but I don’t recommend them. They’re just not strong enough to do the job, and doubling up on the amount you apply won’t make up for the reduced strength.
Anytime is a good time for us to apply preventive but shortly after the adults emerge from an infested tree is the best time for us to apply a treatment. That’s because newly hatched larvae are smaller, weaker and more vulnerable, increasing the ability of the product to control this insidious pest.