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.

What Do Emerald Ash Borers Do?

What is interesting about Emerald Ash Borer beetles is that in their adult form, they don’t actually harm your Ash trees. Instead, it’s the beetles’ larvae that does all the damage.

The larvae feeds on the cambium of the Ash tree, cutting off the vascular flow, which is needed to transport water and nutrients for survival. As time goes on and the tree continues to feed the larvae, its own energy becomes depleted until the tree effectively starves to death. Most trees die within three to five years of the first batch of Emerald Ash Borer eggs being laid in it.

Click to see how Emerald Ash Borer kills an Ash tree (PDF)

The Time to Stop the Infestation is Now!

The time to do something about Emerald Ash Borers is long before you see them in any Ash trees you have on your property.

Signs of EAB in Ash trees are not normally noticed until well into the second year, or even the third year, of feeding. At this point, even if the tree can be saved, it may not be worth saving, since the top 25 to 30 percent of the canopy will most likely need to be removed.

Emerald Ash Borer

Peter Benz Landscaping can inspect the Ash trees in your yard and tell you whether or not they’re good candidates for Emerald Ash Borer treatment. There are three treatment options currently available for treating EAB in Ash trees. The size and health of the trees are considered, along with whether the borer has been detected in the canopy or not.

These factors, along with the time of year, are all taken into account by Peter Benz, a certified arborist. Peter Benz Landscaping offers a proven, highly effective treatment plan that comes with an exclusive protection guarantee. Please contact us for details about this program.

The good news is that once the Ash trees in your yard have been treated to survive an attack, you won’t have to worry about them anytime soon. Once applied, the tree remains protected against attack for one to two years, depending on the chosen treatment plan.

What to Do About Trees that Have Already Been Infested

If it is decided, after a property analysis, that some of your Ash trees are not worth saving, a plan for removing untreated Ash trees should be discussed. The initial eggs are laid near the top of the Ash trees. The next generation of eggs will be laid further down the trees. As the vascular flow is cut off by the Emerald Ash Borer and the trees die from the top down, they quickly becoming a climbing hazard and may be more expensive to have safely removed by professionals. In many cases, the use of expensive equipment, such as bucket trucks or cranes, may be required for removal.

Quite often, it is much more cost effective to save the Ash trees from Emerald Ash Borer infestation than to cut them down after infestation has occurred.

The good news is that our Ash trees will not have to be treated forever. Already, in parts of the Midwest, arborists are starting to back off on their EAB applications. The Emerald Ash Borer has basically eaten itself out of a food source in these areas. The Ash trees in Bucks and Montgomery Counties that are treated properly and in time will make it through this attack.

Please contact us if you’d like more information about how we can help you protect your trees from the Emerald Ash Borer.


Emerald Ash Borer Homeowners Checklist (PDF)

emerald ash borer


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