Emerald Ash Borer

UPDATE November 27: Emerald Ash Borer is in Madison.  Contact us today to receive a consultation if you have ash trees you’d like protected.

What is Emerald Ash Borer?

Emerald Ash Borer is a green beetle that affects only ash trees. When EAB larvae feed, their galleries injure the phloem and xylem that make up the plant’s circulatory system. This interferes with the tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water. When the circulatory system is compromised, the result is death. The larvae also affect the tree’s ability to transport insecticides, which is why it is critical to detect EAB before too much damage has occurred. If 50% of the canopy has experienced decline, studies show that it is probably too late to treat for EAB. So how do you identify EAB?

The typical homeowner can use these three symptoms to identify EAB.

1. The trunk will have d-shaped exit holes when the adult beetles leave the tree.

2. Visual fissures on the bark are the result of callous tissue formation. Pulling the bark away reveals serpentine galleries of the boring insect.

3. The top third of the canopy will decline in both leaf size and density. The tree will look significantly thinner on the top.

Emerald Ash Borer is native to Asia and arrived in the United States in the 1990s. It was first detected in Michigan in 2002, and has subsequently spread to 14 states and Canadian provinces. In Wisconsin, the first detection was in Ozaukee county. It is important to know where EAB has been identified in Wisconsin because treatment plans that begin too early are a waste of money. The map at the right shows where EAB has been detected in Wisconsin.

So what about Dane County?

Thankfully EAB has not hit Dane County or any surrounding counties. The beetle normally travels by proximity, but it just takes one load of infected firewood to spread to another county. Currently Dane county does not have any firewood transport restrictions, but it is still advised that homeowners do not transport firewood.

H&H Arborists have set up a special email list that will only be used to communicate information about EAB, especially if and when it becomes an issue in Dane County. This email list is separate from our monthly email list.  You can join the email list here.

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