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Rapid Devastation: Why The Emerald Ash Borer Is So Dangerous

wood pecker looking for emerald ash borer

The Emerald Ash Borer is a bright green beetle that is smaller than a dime, reddish brown in color, and identifiable by distinct body segmentation.

Infestations of this beetle can damage formerly healthy trees and destroy ten of millions of them throughout the United States and Canada. Even though this damaging insect lives in the Midwestern and Eastern United States, that doesn’t mean the rest of the population is exempt from the dangerous effects that it causes.  

Threats of the Emerald Ash Borer are not going away anytime soon. According to the United States Forest Service, $20 to 60 billion dollars nationally is lost due to the insect. So what are the signs of the Emerald Ash Borer that you should be looking for?

Signs and Symptoms of a Emerald Ash Borer Infestation:

1. Epicormic Sprouting

During times of stress or sickness, trees will grow new branches and leaves. The trees may have new growth at the base of the tree and on the trunk, often where the larvae are feeding.

2. Bark Splits

Vertical splits in the bark are caused due to callus tissue that develops around larval galleries.

3. Woodpecker Feeding

Woodpeckers eat Emerald Ash Borer larvae that are under the bark. This usually happens higher in the trees. If there are large numbers of larvae under the bark, the woodpecker damage can make the tree look like strips have been pulled away.

4. D-shaped Emergence Holes

As adults emerge from under the bark, they create a D-shaped emergence hole that is about 1/8 inch in diameter.

5. Crown Dieback

Larval feeding disrupts the nutrient and water flow to the upper canopy, resulting in leaf loss. Leaves at the top of the tree may be thin and discolored. The trees start to show dead branches throughout the canopy. Futhermore, dieback of the upper and outer crown begins after multiple years of EAB larval feeding.  

For more information on what to look for with Emerald Ash Borer, visit our FAQs page.

Ash Tree Treatment of Sioux Falls, Brandon and surrounding area has the knowledge and skills to save your ash tree from an insect infestation.

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