Trees and shrubs are major features of lawns and landscapes and one of the keys to keeping them healthy is preventing invasions from destructive pests. The emerald ash borer, an invasive species of beetle, is a common threat to ash trees and can be quite destructive. These beetles were accidentally introduced into North America in the 1990’s and have since expanded throughout the U.S. and Canada, leaving behind a path of destruction that has claimed millions of ash trees and annually causes billions of dollars in damage. Ash trees are the most vulnerable to the emerald ash borer so if there are ash trees on your property, our tree and shrub care program can help avoid infestations.
Signs of an Ash Borer Infestation:
If an emerald ash borer infestation does occur, it is important to identify the infestation quickly to minimize the potential damage. Here are common signs of an emerald ash borer infestation to look for:
- Adults are metallic green in color and have slender bodies that grow no longer than half an inch in length. The larvae have long, segmented bodies that are creamy white in color with brown mouth parts.
- The foliage may be damaged from adults feeding on it.
- Eggs may be found between layers of bark.
- Woodpeckers feed on the larva; their presence may indicate an infestation.
- Sapwood under the bark has S-shaped tunnels caused be the larvae eating the wood.
Emerald Ash Borer Life Cycle:
Emerald ash borers are the most active from the late spring into the fall season. Females lay eggs in the bark of ash tree trunks in the mid to late summer and they hatch within two weeks to begin feeding on the sapwood layer beneath the bark. The larvae go through four developmental stages and continue to feed on the sapwood until reaching their pre-pupae stage.
The pre-pupae stage begins in the fall season when the larvae find space in the sapwood and form into J-shaped larvae. Throughout the winter, the larvae develop from the pre-pupae stage to the pupae stage and emerge from the bark in late spring as adults by chewing through the outer layer. The adults feed on the leaves of the tree and mate within a week of emerging from the bark. The female then lays its eggs within a few weeks of mating.
The emerald ash borer causes major destruction to ash trees during every stage of their life cycle. Ash trees that are infested with emerald ash borers are left weak and dying with a destroyed canopy that causes their limbs and branches to fall off. The best way to control or prevent emerald ash borer infestations is with effective tree and shrub applications. Green T Lawn Care offers a six round tree and shrub program in which treatments are administered throughout the season along with our typical lawn care services to protect trees and shrubs from destructive infestations.