The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle native to Asia. Introduced into the United States in 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer has successfully destroyed millions of Ash trees in fifteen states from Michigan to Missouri. The Emerald Ash Borer fist appeared in the Kansas City Metro area in Platte County in August of 2012 and was discovered in both Clay and Wyandotte Counties in September. To date, the Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered in Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Douglas, Atchison and Jefferson counties as well as all counties in Missouri. Most recently, the US Department of Agriculture confirmed the discovery of this destructive insect in Alabama, Delaware, Oklahoma, and Texas.
The Emerald Ash Borer does not discriminate but will attack all species of Ash trees, except the Mountain Ash. This includes White, Green, Black and North American Ash trees.
How to identify an Ash tree:
Ash trees have a compound leaf that consists of 5-11 smaller leaves or leaflets. The leaves are smooth and have a glossy-like appearance. Seeds on a mature Ash tree will appear in clusters that will stay on the tree until late fall or early winter. The Ash tree bark is distinctive, with a diamond like ridged pattern.
The symptoms of the Emerald Ash Borer include:
– Canopy or crown decline starting from the top of the tree down
– Shoots or sprouts growing from trunk or roots
– Splits in the bark
– D-shaped exit holes
– S-shaped serpentine galleries (visible only beneath the bark)
– Increased woodpecker activity
What is the value of my Ash tree?
Trees in general benefit homeowners with reduced energy costs, increased property values, and provide better air quality. A single 17″ diameter Green Ash provides $171.00 in overall environmental value each year. The cost of providing protection against the Emerald Ash Borer versus removing an Ash tree is an individual decision. Although there is a commitment to treating the Ash tree, homeowners should understand the average cost to remove a 17″ Green Ash tree can be between $750-$1200.00, plus an additional cost to remove the stump.
Preventative Maintenance Options:
The best defense is a proactive offense. There are several preventative steps that can be taken to fortify Ash trees against the Emerald Ash Borer. Depending on the type of insecticide used, treatment can be administered as soil injections, direct trunk injections, or systemic bark sprays to control the Emerald Ash Borer. In addition, protective cover sprays on the foliage will reduce adults feeding on the leaves of trees.
The benefits of treatment versus removal and replacement of a tree can be a difficult decision. With preventative treatments, mature Ash trees offer a number of benefits including, increased property values, decreased air conditioning costs and contributing to the quality of life in a neighborhood. With the lack of treatment, Ash trees in the areas with known infestations will decline and require costly removal and replacement.
Please visit the websites below for more information on the Emerald Ash Borer: