Emerald Ash Borer Management an Issue for Municipalities

Emerald Ash Borer Tree Damage

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.


Making the Call on Public Trees

Unfortunately not every tree can or should be saved. Treatment can be costly and sometimes an alternative management plan is called for. A consultation with a Certified Arborist is the best way to decide on a plan to preserve or eliminate certain trees in parks or on public land. The Arborist can also consult with you on a management and removal plan for trees that cannot be preserved. Your municipality should also have a treatment or prevention plan in place for any trees you wish to preserve.


When a Tree Can Be Protected

When it comes to Ash trees that need to be managed, it is best to assume that the insect is nearby and likely to strike at any point. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to protect or save trees that are affected by the EAB. The first step is to have your Certified Arborist inspect individual trees and make sure that they are good candidate for preservation. When the decision has been made, there are a few different courses of treatment available, including soil applications, bark sprays, and tree injections. The Arborist will make this determination based on the size and current state of each individual tree.

When treating for the EAB, it is best to start preventive treatment as early as possible. Infestations by this pest generally do not show symptoms until the problem has progressed significantly. The EAB larvae quickly destroy the tree by blocking the vascular uptake of water and nutrients. You should begin inspecting the trees in your municipality immediately.


An Ash Tree Guarantee

Peter Benz Landscaping also offers a guarantee for Ash trees treated using the TREE-äge® product. If your Ash tree dies from an EAB infestation while under guarantee, you will be refunded your EAB treatment cost(s) for up to the previous four years.

  • We will deliver treatments using research tested products using the most up to date protocols to provide for optimal effectiveness.
  • We will visually inspect your protected tree(s) every 1-2 years to examine for evidence of Emerald Ash Borer infestation. This inspection may take place at the time of re- treatment. We are available to look at your tree at any time should you be concerned about its condition.
  • This guarantee is fully transferable to a new property owner.

Contact Peter Benz Landscaping today to protect the valuable Ash trees in your community.

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