The emerald ash borer, also known as EAB, is a beetle native to north-eastern Asia. This particular beetle feeds on ash trees. In its native region, it does not cause significant damage to trees. Since these trees have evolved with this beetle, they have developed genes that resist the beetle’s attack. However, in North America, it is an invasive species that has caused significant destruction to tens of millions of ash trees that don’t carry this gene to protect against attacks. Experts don’t know how they got to North America, but many suspect the beetle hitched a ride in ash wood used to stabilize shipment cargo.
An emerald ash borer female lays her eggs in between layers of bark and crevices in the ash tree’s trunk and branches. These eggs are laid from June throughout the summer months. After this, the eggs hatch, and the larvae feed under the bark. Unfortunately, this feeding results in disruption of the tree’s ability to transport nutrients.
The canopy of an infected ash tree will first begin to look thin and become yellow. Within a year, half of the tree’s branches will start to die. You may also notice splitting bark, tunneling under the bark, and D-shaped exit holes. Moreover, a tree will produce suckers at the trunk, a tree’s attempt to grow more branches. Usually, after two years of infestation, the tree will die.
It is crucial to detect pest infestations before they reach damaging levels, especially in highly invasive species like the emerald ash borer. If you suspect an emerald ash borer infestation or any pest infestation, contact Connecticut Arborist Services, a division of Eric’s Tree Service. We are certified experts able to identify and remediate the bad guys out to damage your trees.