Emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in our region in 2008 and is currently active in 18 states. Both Platte and Clay counties have been quarantined by the USDA to help prevent the artificial spreading of this insect. Federal as well as state quarantines have been established to prevent the movement of ash material including firewood. To avoid penalties, homeowners are advised to check with their State Department of Agriculture for information regarding quarantines prior to transporting any ash materials or firewood. For information about EAB regulations, you may contact Paul Chaloux at 301-851-2064 (federal) or Mike Brown at 573-893-6833 (state).
EAB is a devastating insect. This beetle is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. EAB is being compared to Dutch elm disease which destroyed American elms to the point that only a few are left, now waiting for their turn to succumb as well. Initially, EAB was reported as uncontrollable. Research is now indicating that treatments on ash trees for EAB are effective.
While we can make no guarantee of borer control, homeowners in quarantined counties should consider treatments on ash trees. Homeowners must weigh the cost of treatment, consider effectiveness of applications, and the value placed on trees in question. We will try to help with recommendations based on your specific needs and circumstance. In some instances, applications may not be recommended due to health and or age of a tree. If treatments are recommended, would the homeowner want to make a long term commitment or possibly treat over a shorter term while replacement trees are growing? These are just some of the details that we will need to address with ash tree owners.
Early detection is very difficult. Damage starts in the upper canopy of the tree and moves downward. By the time damage is detected, applications may not be effective. If you would like for us to check for EAB, destructive sampling (cutting limbs, peeling bark) will be necessary. Symptoms of EAB activity include dieback in the tree canopy, new sprouts forming from the tree’s base, “D” shaped exit holes, and woodpecker damage. Cutting down and destroying dead or infested trees is recommended to reduce insect activity.
EAB requires one application per season. Unfortunately, insecticides currently being used for control of the ash/lilac borer do not control EAB. Conversely, the insecticides that are labeled for EAB control will not control ash/lilac borers. We will be contacting (very early this spring) all of our customers with ash trees who are currently receiving borer applications to go over strategies. We will discuss your specific situation and determine how you would like for us to help you. We are advising anyone with ash trees who are not currently taking borer applications to call for advice for your situation.
EAB attacks only ash trees, and all ash species including green, white, black, and blue are at risk. The mountain ash is not a true ash and therefore is not threatened by EAB.