A Far From Boring Insider on EAB and Its Effect on Your Trees

A Far From Boring Insider on EAB and Its Effect on Your Trees

The lean, mean, green eating machines Michigan met in 2002 have since surpassed several levels of destruction in North America. Their presence has expanded, but so has the knowledge required to control a growing, invasive pest population.

But just how powerful is the emerald ash borer (EAB), you ask? Millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada have suffered from the destructive behavior of EAB. So, regardless if your county has yet to become acquainted with the pest and its ability to destroy ash trees, it's important to be familiar with signs of EAB damage and aware of its spread from state to state.

EAB facts
Before addressing an EAB infestation in your trees, educate yourself on the pest's past and potential.

More than 10 years after Americans discovered EAB in Michigan, the pest had scattered signs of damage across the Midwest and New England states, ultimately making its way westward to Boulder, Colo. According to Jim Zwack, the Davey Institute's director of technical services, western states can learn the following from their eastern colleagues who have already encountered EAB:

  1. EAB is a devastating problem.
  2. There is no "right" or "one size fits all" approach to a solution.
  3. Strong EAB solutions require several factors, from education, surveys, inventories and management plans to treatments, removals, wood utilization and tree replacements.

Feeling overwhelmed? That's expected when it comes to EAB encounters and discoveries. But because the pest continues to wreak havoc on urban canopies across North America, gaining an ongoing understanding of EAB habits will help alleviate some of its future spread-and damage.

"EAB is a pest of historical significance," Zwack says. "Yet, our knowledge is evolving, so stay current." So, as you focus on the trees standing in your own backyard, take this advice:

  1. Protect your healthy trees. Prevention is highly preferable; once discovered, EAB requires significant time, energy and money to address.
  2. If you encounter a problem, be proactive vs. reactive.
  3. Help your community understand the value of its trees by sharing regular, consistent messaging that showcases their many benefits, even if it has yet to discover signs of EAB.
EAB galleries
Look for the galleries shown here when inspecting your trees for an EAB infestation.

Suspect EAB has invaded your green space? Davey's local, professionally trained arborists can help you identify any structural damage or signs of infestations in your trees. You may also visit Davey's EAB resource center for more information about identifying EAB damage and treatment options.

Although EAB presents several challenges to property owners attempting to do the best for the health of their trees, remember there is still hope.

In an effort to raise awareness of EAB's growing presence across North America, several organizations, researchers and experts gathered in December 2013 for an Emerald Ash Borer Management Seminar at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Davey, Denver Parks and Recreation and the Colorado State Forest Service hosted the event. You can find more EAB resources online through Denver's Mile High Million initiative, a tree planting program Mayor John Hickenlooper had created in 2006 to add one million new trees in metropolitan Denver by 2025.

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