Emerald Ash Borer

What is an Emerald Ash Borer?

Emerald Ash Borer is a green jewel beetle native to eastern Asia that feeds on certain ash species. Adults are dark metallic green in color with a red or purple abdomen under the wings. The insect is about a 1/2-inch long and 1/8-inch wide. The larvae of this particular insect are white in color. The Emerald Ash Borer is very destructive and can infest and kill numerous true ash species.  The larval stage of this insect feeds under the bark of the tree cutting off the flow of required water and nutrients. Infested trees will slowly die over a period of time usually taking two to four years before mortality.

What are the signs of Emerald Ash Borer?

The visibility of an attack of the Emerald Ash Borer may go undetected for more than a year after its initial infestation. Other ash problems can be easily mistaken for Emerald Ash Borer presence and include environmental factors, disease, or other insects. Common signs of infestation are the loss of leaves, thinning of upper branches, tunnels under the bark in an “S” shape, as well as “D” shaped exit holes.  Emerald Ash Borer was first found in North America in 2002. It has since been confirmed to be detected in 25 states including Colorado. Fortunately, the insect has only been detected in the City of Boulder. Being that Emerald Ash Borer typically fly less than 1/2 a mile from their emergence tree it is likely that long-distance movement has been directly promoted by human movement of the wood, making responsible wood felling and transfer practices an important part of protecting against this threat to local trees.

Our Approach

There are a few different preventative options to protect the ash trees on your property as well as to control an attack. The decision to treat individual ash trees on a preventative plan is addressed on a case by case basis. Treatment options are designed around the size of trees and location. Preventative care can be achieved by a professional lawn care company through systemic insecticides that are applied as soil injections or drenches, systemic insecticides applied as microinjections,  systemic insecticides applied as lower trunk sprays, and protective cover sprays that are applied to the trunk and main branches. The timing of these applications are very crucial and it is suggested that a certified arborist be consulted if you want to treat the ash trees on your property.

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