What is the Emerald Ash Borer and how to get help now

What is the Emerald Ash Borer?

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a tree-killing insect that is the bane of North American forests, residences and business properties. This pest has the same name as the invasive pest that is native to Asia and was first found in the Ontario in 2002. Unfortunately, this tree-destroying pest is now well established in Belleville and the Bay or Quinte region, and mitigating action is required.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species. Once EAB has attacked a tree, it is impossible to remove the infected part of the tree. Once the sapwood becomes exposed, the tree will die. It is important to remove any tree that is infested with emerald ash borer as soon as possible.

Emerald ash borer invasive species

The Emerald Ash Borer is native to the East, but has been spreading westward, and is now found in Belleville and throughout other parts of Ontario. The EAB has devastated the forests of eastern North America, killing millions of all varieties of ash trees.

What does the emerald ash borer look like?

The emerald ash borer is an iridescent green colour, and looks like a long-legged grasshopper. It has long antennae, and is usually between one-half to three-quarters of an inch long. It is a tiny insect, and is easily overlooked. Emerald ash borers can be seen in Belleville yards, and are attracted to trees that are still in their sapwood. It bores tunnels, or “galleries,” in the wood just below the bark.

Emerald ash borer larvae

The best way to detect an EAB infestation and identify infected ash trees is by looking for symptoms and signs like: dying leaves on the crown, D-shaped holes in the tree where beetles emerge, and grooves, or galleries, under loose bark. . Other signs that indicate that your tree is infected with emerald ash borer include woodpecker holes or epicormic sprouts on the trunk or large branches, bark cracks above old larval galleries.

Scientists have learned that most emerald ash borer females lay their eggs on nearby trees, within 100 meters of the tree from which they emerged. However, the female beetles of the Emerald Ash Borer are capable of traveling anywhere from 1 km to 3-5 km, so if you live near tree with noticeable EAB damage, this beetle may be present on your property.

The bad news on emerald ash borer damage

EAB’s preferred food is the tree’s new growth, or sapwood. EAB can kill a tree in just a few months, and the insect’s rapid population growth is the primary reason for the devastation. There is virtually no way to reverse the damage caused by the Emerald Ash Borer.  The only way to stop it is to remove infected trees.

Emerald ash borer treatment

Over the past few years, the Emerald Ash Borer has made its way into the Belleville area and the devastation of ash trees can be seen throughout the Bay of Quinte. Many of the ash trees that now need to be removed are very large and pose a hazard to buildings and surrounding trees. Unfortunately, killing the ash borer is virtually impossible, although some treatments are available if the infestation is minimal and contained. However, there are some steps that can be taken to mitigate the spread of emerald ash borer and the damage they cause. An excellent guide has been produced by Michigan State University and Ohio State University and can be downloaded from this link.

Getting Help!

Once the ash trees have been compromised, the only option is removal. Belleville Tree Service is experienced in safely removing large trees from properties throughout the Bay of Quinte. Call us today for an estimate to take care of the problem before a falling ash tree causes further damage to your valuable property.