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. Read more about Emerald Ash Borer Management an Issue for Municipalities

Boxwood Blight in Bucks County

The boxwood blight, also known as box blight or boxwood leaf drop, is a fungal disease of boxwoods that was first seen in the US in October 2011. It was initially discovered in North Carolina and Connecticut, but by early 2012 it had also been found in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. We have since noticed its appearance in the Bucks County Pa area.Boxwood Blight Bucks County

So far it seems as though most commercial boxwoods, especially English and American, are highly susceptible to the disease, as is pachysandra, which is in the boxwood family. This disease doesn’t normally kill the host but causes significant defoliation and branch die-back. If boxwood blight is present your initial indication will be dark or light brown spots on leaves. The leaves will then turn brown or straw color and fall off. The stems of the boxwood will also develop black or dark brown lesions.

At Peter Benz Landscaping, we highly recommend that any new boxwood brought onto a property is quarantined for a least one month after leaving the nursery. Many nurseries are spraying boxwoods with preventive fungicides that can temporarily mask the symptoms of the disease. After 2 to 3 weeks the fungicides will wear off and the disease may cause a rapid decline in affected plants.

Read more about Boxwood Blight in Bucks County