Emerald Ash Borer - Treatment or Tree Removal

It’s time to protect your valuable, majestic ash trees from the insidious emerald ash borer (EAB). It’s this invasive pest that’s to blame for all the dead and dying ash trees that we see around town. If you have an ash tree, it’s a sure bet that it will become a target for the EAB sooner or later.

Here is an example of the damage caused by the Emerald Ash Borer.

In May, the adult borers emerge from pupation inside the tree and begin eating the leaves while looking for a mate. With the courtship successful by the end of the month, females will deposit their eggs in indentations they make in the bark. As soon as the larvae hatch, they start boring their way into the interior of the tree, where they carry out their destructive task for nearly a year.

When advising tree owners on whether or not to treat, we look at the aesthetics as well as the percentage of the tree that’s still alive. EAB destroys trees from the top down so we determine if we can prune the tree so it still has the distinctive ash tree shape or whether it will look like a topped tree no matter what we do.

Trees that have not been attacked yet need to be treated only every two years. Those that have been attacked need to be treated every year. Not all attacked trees can be effectively treated, however. Those in which the EAB has killed more than a third of the tree are not good candidates for treatment. Trees that have this much of their crown destroyed by the EAB or are completely dead should be removed.

We will provide an estimate for our trained, experienced, fully insured arborists to safely remove it.

Treatment for this small but extremely damaging pest is not a do-it-yourself project. The most effective treatment/preventive is injected directly into the trunk of the tree at a concentration available only to state licensed/certified pesticide applicators. TreeAge is placed directly into the tree’s vascular system where it can be carried to where the EAB larvae are feeding. The borers are small, weak and more vulnerable in spring. So, spring treatments are more effective.

The cost and the need to repeat the application every year or two may seem like a substantial investment. However, a number of treatment or preventive applications can be made for the cost of removing a large, dead ash tree and replacing it with a new tree. And, this doesn’t even include the aesthetic loss, the loss of value to your property, and possible loss of understory landscaping because of their loss of shade.

With eight NYS Certified Pesticide Applicators and 13 Certified Arborists on staff, we can respond in a very timely fashion.