Be Prepared For Emerald Ash Borers in Bucks County

Emerald Ash Borer in Bucks County“Be Prepared” has been the Boy Scout motto for the last 108 years.

But the scouts of 1907 weren’t thinking about the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect species that has been killing Bucks County trees for the last few years.

Fortunately, Peter Benz Landscaping has experience with dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer in Bucks County, which is why we were recently able to respond to a significant EAB infestation at the Ockanickon Boy Scout Reservation near Pipersville, Pennsylvania.

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Bucks County Under Attack: Emerald Ash Borer Here & Now!

Emerald Ash Borer Bucks County PAThe Emerald Ash Borer has cut a path of destruction from Michigan to Pennsylvania over the last 13 years.

We’ve dealt with this flying pest throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties since 2012, when EABs were spotted in Warrington.

Fast-forward to July of 2015 and Emerald Ash Borers are still plaguing Warrington. Recently, Peter Benz Landscaping was at Westminster Apartments and Meadowood Condominiums at Street and Valley roads, where EAB had infested every ash tree we could spot.

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Emerald Ash Borer Homeowners’ Guide

emerald ash borer

Untreated vs. treated tree

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a threat to all Ash trees. Nevertheless, while this invasive species related to the beetle is highly invasive and aggressive, it can be spotted, prevented and even treated in many cases.

Particularly if you catch an EAB infestation at a reasonably early stage and work proactively, there may be a chance of saving the Ash trees on your property.

As mighty as an Ash tree may appear, it can be brought down surprisingly easily by these tiny but incredibly dangerous little insects.

Just take a look at the photo to the right, which features one tree that was treated for EAB infestation and one that wasn’t, to get a sense of the level of destruction these pests are capable of causing.

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First Documented Emerald Ash Borer Infestation in Warrington PA

Here are some pictures of Ash trees I took in 2012.  These trees were found to be infested by Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The location was the Hampton Greens Condominiums in Warrington, Bucks County. This was the first documented case of Emerald Ash Borer in our area.

There were thousands of D-shaped exit wounds where the females emerged to either lay more eggs further down the tree, or fly off to other Ash trees and lay eggs in the tops of those trees. It was estimated that these trees had suffered three years of activity by the time these pictures were taken. They were cut down soon after.

First Infestation of Emerald Ash Borer in Warrington PA - 2012 Emerald Ash Borer Warrington PA - thousands of D shaped exit wounds where the females emerged to either lay more eggs further down the tree, or fly off to other Ash trees and lay eggs in the tops of those trees. Emerald Ash Borer Warrington PA - location was the Hampton Greens Condominiums in Warrington, Bucks County. Emerald Ash Borer Warrington PA - trees suffered three years of activity by the time these pictures were taken.

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Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Options

emerald ash borer treatmentIn 2002, an invasive insect species that you may have heard of—a tiny green beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer—was discovered by Michigan foresters.

The EAB, as it’s commonly known, was decimating trees in southeastern Michigan and in nearby Windsor, Ontario. This pest had most likely hitched a ride on a shipping boat, and stowed away in ash pallets and crating.

Over the past decade, the EAB has destroyed between 50 and 60 million Ash trees in a destructive path starting in Michigan and cutting through to Pennsylvania. All major Ash tree species have been attacked by the EAB, and unless proper treatment is given immediately, trees will continue to suffer in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

Ash trees make up nearly 20 percent of our local tree population. This is a potentially devastating problem. So how do you know if the Ash trees on your property are being affected?

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The Ash Tree: An Endangered Species

How to Protect Your Trees from the Threat of the Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a classic example of how invasive species thrive. This tiny green beetle is native to Asia and wasn’t seen in the United States until 2002, when it was discovered by Michigan foresters.

Research indicates that the beetle was mistakenly introduced to the country via shipping materials. Since then, the flying green beetles have spread east, including into the state of Pennsylvania. Its presence was documented in Warrington, PA in the spring of 2012, and it has since spread throughout the Bucks County and Montgomery County areas.

At this point, it is believed that these insects are now in our local wood products, such as mulch and wood chips, and are expected to continue to spread rapidly. The Emerald Ash Borer feed on Ash trees, where they lay their eggs in bark crevices. And unfortunately, if something isn’t done about these destructive pests soon, there won’t be any Ash trees left.

EAB has already been responsible for the loss of millions of Ash trees in North America, and at the current rate, there’s every reason to imagine that the Emerald Ash Borer could cause the Ash tree to become an extinct species.

If you have Ash trees on your property, it’s time to meet with a certified arborist to discuss your options.

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