Whether you have a small lawn or a large wooded area on your property, you want the most low maintenance landscaping available. Unfortunately, if you have ash trees, this might not be possible. Emerald ash borer beetles can be a deadly infestation to your ash trees. Read on for information on what you can do to protect your yard from this pest.
Ash trees are a very common and important species of tree in the United States and Canada. In addition to being a pleasing addition to your front or backyard landscaping, they also serve the ecosystem, with ash seeds providing a food sources for many birds and mammals. There are 16 native ash species widespread in the United States today, and unfortunately, all of them are susceptible to attack from the emerald ash borer.
The emerald ash borer, or EAB, is highly destructive to ash trees. The EAB larvae, once they have hatched from the pupae stage, feed on the inner bark of ash trees. As there can be hundreds of these larvae in one tree alone, this infestation greatly disrupts the ash tree’s ability to store and transport water and nutrients in its trunk. Once the EAB larvae break through the outer bark of the tree, after they have matured, they feed on the bark and leaves of the tree, inevitably leading to the ash tree’s death after only a couple of years.
As one can no doubt guess, the EAB infestation is highly dangerous to your ash trees, and it can be difficult to get rid of using only a low maintenance landscaping routine. If you have an EAB infestation, use these emerald ash borer treatment tips to protect and restore your ash trees:
1. Apply an insecticide into the base of the affected tree. This will prevent infestation, but note that this insecticide needs to be reapplied every two years. You can also inject insecticide into the soil beneath the tree or on the tree’s outer bark. Insecticides that are applied to the tree’s bark are more slow to absorb, however, and may require multiple treatments.
2. If you need to cut firewood from an ash tree, be sure to cut or purchase the wood from one general area in order to curb the spread of EAB. Emerald ash borers can travel up to half a mile on their own once they have matured into adults, so be sure to limit the amount of travel for your firewood to prevent the spread of infestation.
3. For more widespread infestations on your property, be sure to consult a professional landscaper. If you want to know if your region is affected by EAB, search online for emerald ash borer maps to see the most affected areas of the country. Be sure to consult your state’s environmental conservation websites as well to be aware of any restrictions on pesticide uses and treatments.
Low maintenance landscaping is easy if you’re able to take preventative measures, such as using insecticides and inspecting your trees for infestations. If you encounter EAB, be sure to take care of the problem as soon as possible. These beetles have been responsible for the destruction of almost 200 million trees in the United States since 2002. With an estimated 8 billion ash trees in the United States, it’s important that we take whatever measures necessary to protect our environment against this pest. Links like this.