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Education

Emerald Ash Borer devastating to ash trees
By Lee Chowaniec
Mar 4, 2012, 16:19
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While presenting his report on what seminars Lancaster Councilman Ronald Ruffino attending at the Association of Town’s gathering in New York, he spoke of one that concerned the devastating impact the emerald ash borer s having on Ash trees across America.

“You can’t stop its invasion, just slow it down,” declared Ruffino. Our trees are in big trouble. There is some government funding in place to help fight against it. However, the epidemic is coming and there is nothing much to do except to slow it down.”

Ruffino said he had given all the documents and information he had received at the seminar to Lancaster Park, Recreation and Forestry Crew Chief Terry McCracken and asked him to comment. McCracken declared that there is a treatment that can be injected into the tree and that the town has already applied the treatment to some trees.
Expressing interest in the treatment to control the pest, I asked Mr. McCracken to send me information on the chemicals involved and the treatment process. It should also be noted that the treatment can only be applied by a certified pest chemical applicator.

McCracken provided the following information:

As discussed after the Town Board Meeting of 2/27/12 there are 2 products that I know of that effectively treat ash trees against the Emerald Ash Borer. Each of these products needs to be injected by a certificated applicator. IMA Jet is the first product approved for usage in NYS and will provide control for about 18 months. TREE-age was recently approved and is said to provide control for up to 3 years. Both products are manufactured by Arborjet.

The process of injection is to drill holes into the tree (number of holes is determined by the diameter of the tree), insert a diaphragm into each of the holes, then insert an air pressurized gun into the diaphragm which injects the chemical into the tree. Injections are only effective during the spring and summer months.

I have attached some educational information about Emerald Ash Borer, how to identify ash trees and symptoms to look for in infected trees. Additionally, I have included some local vendors that have certified applicators and can provide the service. I am told that for 6"-12" diameter trees the cost is about $100.

USDA pamphlet

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a very small but a very destructive beetle. Metallic Green in color, its slender body measures ½ inch long and 1/8 inch wide. The beetle is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees.

Signs and Symptoms of EAB: It is extremely difficult to determine whether an ash tree is or is not infected with the EAB because tree decline is gradual. Early symptoms of an infestation might include dead branches near the top of a tree or wild, leafy shoots growing out from its lower trunk. D-shape exit holes and bark splits exposing S-shaped tunnels are significant signs of the EAB. Woodpecker activity might also indicate the presence of the EAB.

If a tree is infested with the EAB, tree removal is the most effective way to eliminate these exotic pests and prevent the species’ further spread. It is also recommends when the felling of trees takes place the wood is properly disposed of.

On this continent, the EAB attacks ah trees (Fraxinus spp.), and all the ash species – including green, white, black and blue – are at risk. The mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) is not a true ash and is not threatened by EABS.

EAB adults are strong fliers, yet most only fly short distances (about ½ mile). However, under certain conditions individual beetles are capable of flying up to several miles to infest new trees.

Several natural enemies have been discovered attacking EAB larvae in North America, including woodpeckers and at least two species of parasitic insects. Unfortunately, these enemies have not effectively prevented trees from dying or substantially slowed the spread of the pest.

An EAB infestation is always fatal to ash trees. Infested trees decline from the top down and will be dead in 1-3 years even if the trees were healthy before being attacked by the EAB. Stressed or damaged trees appear to attack the beetles

Pesticides

Pesticides can be used as a control measure for the EAB, but they are not a cure.

Homeowners with individual, high-value ash trees will need to apply insecticides on a regular basis, possibly several times within one growing season, and even then might not completely prevent the EAB from attacking an ash tree. In EAB infested areas, even treated trees are likely to succumb to continued attacks from the pest as beetle populations increase.


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