Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a non-native, invasive insect pest that can attack and kill both unhealthy and healthy ash trees. The larvae of this wood-boring beetle tunnel through the water and nutrient conducting tissue just under the bark, cutting off supplies to the crown of the tree and causing a drought-like die back in the crown. EAB will kill an infested tree within 3-5 years of first attacking that ash. Other signs and symptoms of EAB presence in a tree include epicormic sprouts low on the trunk, S-shaped larval galleries under the bark, and D-shaped exit holes on the bark.
EAB was found in Colorado for the first time in 2013, in green ash trees located in Boulder. Since then, it has spread as far north as Fort Collins, east to Thornton, and south to Littleton. It is currently killing thousands of ash trees on the Front Range.
Homeowners across the Front Range must now start considering their options for the ash trees on their properties. If a tree is determined to have EAB and more than 30% of the crown has died back, the tree must be removed and disposed of properly. If there is no or very little EAB present in the tree and the crown is healthy, there are recommended treatments to help keep your ash trees from becoming infested.
Treatment for EAB includes applying a systemic insecticide to be taken up into the tree through either the roots (soil injection) or through direct truck injection and transported through the tree by the water and nutrient conducting cells (xylem) in the outer sapwood. This outer sapwood is the same place where EAB larvae tunnel through the tree, and the systemic product stops the larvae before they are able to do significant damage.
Emerald Ash Borer Treatments need to be properly timed and applied by licensed professionals. All commercial applicators in Colorado need to be licensed by the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA), and Patriot Tree Company has carried a commercial license in good standing with the CDA since 2012. If you have ash trees on your property, give us a call, and we can help put together a plan that makes sense for you and your property.