If you live in Michigan, most likely you have seen several standing dead trees along roads and highways, you may or may not know what they are, but you’ve seen them. More than likely those were ash trees that have died as a result of an infestation of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer Beetle.
A native of Asia, this colorful (and admittedly beautiful) beetle has decimated the ash population of the northeastern and mid-western portions of the United States. Since its identification in 2002 it has been found in 16 states and 2 Canadian provinces. The number one way this beetle spreads from state to state is through human involvement – inadvertently transporting the insect in any of its stages (egg, larvae, or adult) to a new location where it can establish another population. An aggressive awareness campaign exists in order to educate the public about this threat to our nation’s forests and to, hopefully, help curb the spread of the beetle.
This week is an example of yet another education effort. May 19-25 has been designated Emerald Ash Borer Week. This is the time of year when adult beetles start becoming active and you may see them flying around your trees, if you happen to have any ashes left. It’s also the time that people are most likely to move the pest when packing for camping season. The following is a blog post by the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the beetle, what signs to look out for, and a link for more information.
Side Note: here is another good site to bookmark if you’re looking for information on where the Emerald Ash Borer has been found, quarantine information, the beetle’s life cycle and how to identify it, what to do with a tree that you have lost due to the beetle, the options for treating an early infestation and more.
Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is May 19-25. David Cappaert, Michigan State University.
In this case it is green, a brilliant emerald green, and it is chomping its way through America’s forests. The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, may look pretty, but it is killing our ash trees in our forests and backyards.
This is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 19-25) and the time of year when you might see adult beetles flitting about among your ash trees. It is also the time of year you may unknowingly move this pest if you pack firewood when you kick off the summer camping season.
The EAB attacks ash trees and all ash trees are at risk. First, adult females lay their eggs in the tree bark. The eggs hatch into larvae. These larvae look like creamy white, flat worms, and they chew tunnels just under the bark, cutting off the plumbing that supplies nutrients to the tree. With the tree’s water pipes shut off, the tree starves and dies in just a couple of years.
Because the larvae cause all their damage under the bark, it can be hard to tell when a tree is infested until it is too late. So it’s important to be on the lookout for some telltale signs of an EAB infestation, such as:
- Canopy dieback, usually starting at the top of the tree
- Sprouts growing from the trunk as the upper portions of the tree die
- D-shaped exit holes where the beetles chewed their way out of the tree
- Vertical bark splits that expose the larvae’s tunnels
It can be tempting to turn that dying tree into firewood to make use of the dead wood—go ahead, but keep it local. It is important not to move this firewood around since pests still living in the wood can be brought to new areas and infest a whole new neighborhood. Before you know it, these pests can be hitching rides all over the country via your road-trip. The emerald ash borer beetle, detected in 19 states, has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees so far. The estimated cost of treating, removing, and replacing 37.9 million ash trees in urban and residential settings in 25 states is $25 billion.
Stop EAB in its tracks, Don’t Move Firewood. Visit www.StopTheBeetle.info to learn more.