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.
Read more about Emerald Ash Borer Homeowners’ Guide
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.
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In 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?
Read more about Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Options
How to Protect Your Trees from the Threat of the 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.
Read more about The Ash Tree: An Endangered Species
If your Bucks County property is especially rich in trees and topiary – mature white pines, perhaps, or maybe spruce or fir trees – chances are better than average that you’ve already put a fair amount of time and money into maintaining your investment. So what could possibly be worse than watching your trees being literally destroyed from the top down?
Unfortunately, that’s an all-too-common occurrence for property owners in Bucks County and a number of other regions in Eastern Pennsylvania, where a devilish little pest known as the white pine weevil attacks and subsequently kills the tops of trees each year.
Read more about How to Control White Pine Weevil with Soil Injections
A tree that has been treated for Emerald Ash Borer (right) compared to one that has not.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has finally arrived in Southeastern Pennsylvania and that is leading to some tough and costly calls about preservation by local governments. The pest has been slowly making its way across the state and was first documented in our area in 2012. It had already been in the infected trees for two or three years at that point. The EAB has been found in area trees and parks (although it is believed to have not yet crossed the river into New Jersey). The invasive species is widely considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests ever to come to North America. In the end, the total costs to the country, particularly to states and municipalities, could total in the billions.
While many Ash trees in the Southeastern Pennsylvania may not yet be infected, it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately, Ash trees make up nearly 20 percent of the local tree population in Bucks County. While it can be devastating for homeowners to discover the pest, the costs for local governments can be exponentially more, simply due to the number of trees they must manage. Planning ahead can help blunt the impact of the EAB infestation and save your community money. Read more about Emerald Ash Borer Management an Issue for Municipalities
A tree that has been treated for Emerald Ash Borer (right) compared to one that has not.
Unfortunately the time has come to make some tough calls about the trees on your property. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has finally arrived in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The pest has been slowly making its way across the state, finally arriving when it was first discovered in an apartment complex in Warrington in 2012. Since then the EAB has been found in other area trees and parks (although it is believed to have not yet crossed the river into New Jersey). While many Ash trees in the Southeastern Pennsylvania may not yet be infected, it is only a matter of time. Unfortunately, Ash trees make up nearly 20 percent of the local tree population in Bucks County. Read more about The Emerald Ash Borer is Threatening Your Trees
The white pine weevil, one of the most destructive pests of the eastern white pine in Pennsylvania, kills the tops of many different types of conifers. Although it attacks mostly pines, it can also be found in spruce and fir trees. Several generations of this pest can severely reduce the aesthetic value of their host.
White pine weevils spend the winter as adults in dropped needles under or near host trees. As days warm up in March or April they will fly or crawl to the leaders of suitable hosts. They begin feeding on the bark of terminal leaders. Mating occurs on the bark of the tree through most of June. A single female may lay 100 or more eggs in pits on the bark of the previous year’s leader. After hatching, grubs tunnel downward under the bark. Adult beetles emerge from late June to early September. After emergence, the beetles fly to other areas.
Between the feeding and the egg laying, the top 18-24″ of the leader is usually killed. Severe infestation may result in the loss of 2-3 years of growth. Glistening drops of resin oozing from holes in the leader are the first signs of attack, caused by adult weevils that are feeding before egg-laying. As the terminal is girdled, the new shoot of the current year’s growth withers and the tip bends over and turns brown. This stage of damage usually becomes noticeable in July. These infested leaders should be pruned at a point below the tunneling grubs, making sure to either burn or secure them in plastic trash bags and remove them from the property. If left on site the weevils may continue to develop in the prunings.
The standard treatment for pine weevil is to spray insecticides such as permethrin, bifenthrin or cyfluthrin at different intervals, but timing of these spray treatments is critical. The first application, to the terminal leader, as well as the lower trunk of the tree, must be done right before the adults begin feeding and laying eggs. A second spray treatment should be done a few of weeks later to protect the terminal leader. Other applications to the leader during midsummer are often necessary to manage this insect during outbreaks.
As an alternative, a single systemic soil injection of Imidacloprid can be applied in the fall to avoid multiple spray applications throughout the season. This allows adequate time for the chemical to be taken up to the terminal leaders of the tree. This method of control uses less active ingredient of chemical overall and has a lower environmental risk. It also has a reduced impact on natural enemies of the weevil.
Singed brown edges on leaves of trees are called scorch. This can be caused by different types of stress such as drought, root growth restriction, compacted soil or even salt damage. Oak Wilt is a disease which also causes browning of the tree leaves. Bacterial Leaf Scorch (BLS) is a disease which infects Oak trees as well as Maples, Lindens, Elms and others, although it is more commonly found in Oaks, especially Red Oaks. Leafhoppers, spittle bugs and other Xylem feeding insects carry the bacteria from tree to tree.
Read more about The Importance of Early Detection of Bacterial Leaf Scorch