Emerald Ash Borer has been an invasive insect problem for several years now in Minnesota. We are at risk of losing over 900 million Ash trees in Minnesota. Across the nation, federal and state agencies have made this problem a priority making this insect the most destructive forest pest in United States history. An estimated billion dollars will be spent trying to eradicate this pest.
Emerald Ash Borer is a small wood-boring beetle that hitchhiked its way here through infected wood. This pest was first discovered in Michigan in 2002; by 2009 the beetle was confirmed in Minnesota. The larvae and adults both impact the trees’ health. The larvae tunnel through the tree behind the bark feeding on the sap of the tree. When the larvae molt into the adult stage, the insect emerges through the bark, creating a small D-shaped hole about an 1/8 of an inch wide. Adults are shiny green and about the length of a penny. The adults then move to a different tree (up to 100 miles away) and continue to lay eggs and perpetuate the cycle.
Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer usually start at the top of the tree with thinning of the canopy. The canopy will continue to thin and drop all the way down the branches until the tree is dead. Woodpecker damage, bark splitting, and S-shaped patterns under the bark are other symptoms that are visible.
Homeowners have been encouraged to participate in the eradication of this pest. Preventative measures are preferred to curative measures since by the time symptoms are showing it’s usually too late for your Ash tree.
At Barrett Lawn Care we are incorporating the treatment of EAB into our pesticide program. We feel that this service could be valuable to our customers in preserving their established trees at home or at their place of business. Not only are mature trees not replaceable, the removal cost of infected trees is much higher than the EAB treatment. We use an insecticide called TREE-age® manufactured by Arbor-jet. This liquid formula is injected into the live tissue of the tree (right beneath the bark) during the spring. When spring arrives this is the most active time of year for the tree pulling up water and nutrients for new growth. TREE-age® treats Emerald Ash Borer but also treats a wide range of other insects including Tent Caterpillar, Sawfly, Pine Beetle, other wood borers, and leaf miners. The insecticide is also effective for 2 years.
Many people are concerned with safety especially for their children and pets. TREE-age® is extremely safe considering that the liquid is injected into the tree so there is no exposed liquid, odor, or runoff to worry about. Ash trees also soak up the liquid very fast, minimizing the risk of any leaking out.
More information on the Emerald Ash Borer can be found at emeraldashborer.info, the University of Minnesota, or Arbor-jet.
~ Chris Reifsteck, Application Specialist at Barrett Lawn Care