Does Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Work?

Does Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Work?

Flashback to 2002. A tiny, exotic beetle, identified as emerald ash borer, was just discovered in Michigan.

By 2009, EAB killed an estimated 58 million ash trees in thirteen states, according to Dr. Leah Bauer of the USDA.

EAB was once thought to be a death sentence for your trees. Now, we know it’s not. You can treat EAB and save your ash trees.

Below, we’re answering your most common questions about EAB treatment – with help from our resident EAB expert, Anand Persad of the Davey Institute.

What is the effectiveness of emerald ash borer treatment?

For EAB treatment to work, your tree first has to be inspected to check for other pre-existing conditions.

Once this examination is complete, your tree can be deemed a good candidate for preservation.

Then, the EAB treatment has to be applied at the right time, in the right way, by a certified applicator.

If all these steps are taken, the effectiveness of EAB treatment is 85 to 95 percent.

What are the EAB treatment options?

There are four types of EAB treatment options: soil injection, trunk injection, bark spray and canopy spray.

The most common EAB treatments are soil injections and trunk injections. Both deliver the product right into the tree's tissue, which is then evenly dispersed throughout the canopy. The injections target the larvae tunneling in the tree, which stops the most destructive phase of this insect.

Canopy sprays are also used occasionally, which help prevent adult borers from feeding and laying eggs. Systemic applications help limit environmental exposure.

Do DIY emerald ash borer options work?

For EAB treatments to be effective the product, dose, application timing, and overall health of the tree have to be considered.

Products available to homeowners have the same active ingredients that are available to professionals like Davey.

That being said, not all homeowner products contain a high enough concentration to be applied at the rates recommended by researchers.

For a problem like EAB that will kill your tree, applying the proper dosage is critical. That's why a professional tree inspection and treatment program are advisable.

What is the best time to treat for emerald ash borer?

Proactively! If EAB is in your area, don’t wait. You vastly improve the chances of your trees surviving and optimizing the effectiveness of the treatment when you act early.

Even if your ash tree still looks healthy, get it inspected if EAB is in your region.

EAB has been found in 25 states, including: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Virginia, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky, Iowa, Tennessee, Connecticut, Kansa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, New Jersey, Arkansas and Louisiana. For an updated list, visit the USDA.

Also, be on the lookout for these early warning signs of EAB – or you can check out the corresponding infographic.

What is the cost of emerald ash borer treatment?

The cost of EAB treatment varies based on how many trees you have and the type of treatment needed. A certified arborist would be able to give you an exact number during a consultation.

Across the board, though, we know EAB treatment is significantly cheaper than removing a tree. Plus, when you treat your trees, you get to enjoy their beauty and benefits for the next decade.

Does emerald ash borer treatment work?

Yes! When applied correctly, EAB treatment is 85 to 95 percent effective.

EAB treatment works to save trees in your yards and your city.

For example, when EAB was detected in Naperville, IL, they treated their trees. Three years later, more than 90 percent of the treated ash trees show no signs of infestation. 

Similarly, Joyce Kugeler of Lafayette, Colorado was worried about emerald ash borer attacking her ash trees. So, she called her local Davey Tree office in Boulder for help.

Together, Joyce and Davey’s Kevin Marks put together a plan. They treated and pruned the most valuable ash trees, removed unhealthy ash trees and planted new, diverse trees for the future.

Joyce can assure you - EAB treatment does work.

“Our yard looks better than ever, and all of our important ash trees are thriving. I’m so glad that Davey had years of experience with dealing with Emerald Ash Borer. It allowed us to come up with a great plan for our property. A plan based on experience and not guesses,” she shared.

If EAB is in your area, schedule a free consultation to take action and save your ash trees today!

  • The Tree Doctor July 7, 2016 >Hi Chris - glad you reached out to Davey for help protecting your ash trees. I'm passing this along to your local arborist - who should be reaching out soon after seeing if Davey treated your trees in the past. If you'd prefer, you can also connect with your office directly. Give them a ring at 303.502.9450 or fill out this form: davey.com/local-offices/boulder-tree-service-and-lawn-service/#main-form.
  • Chris Halteman July 6, 2016 >We have 5 large Ash trees that were treated 2 years ago. We need a repeat. they are about 48" in diameter. We can't remember who treated them the last time.
  • The Tree Doctor June 1, 2016 >Hi Dan! Thanks for reaching out to help for Davey. This is a great question. EAB does affect almost all ash trees, except mountain ash. Age isn't a huge factor for the emerald ash borer. Instead, the borers prefer stressed trees. Though, healthy ash trees are also vulnerable. Once attacked by EAB, small trees are killed within one or two years while larger trees can last for three to four years. Hope this helps clarify if your ash trees are at risk, Dan. Here if there's anything else we can do to help!
  • Dan Morrow June 1, 2016 >Are ALL Ash trees susceptible to this borer? Does the borer infest older trees more so than young Ashes?
Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • Davey Institute Hosts Tree Biomechanics Research Week Symposium

    Tree limbs drop from bucket truck lifts and cranes as researchers make observations, form calculations and answer questions below.

    While an individual depletes the foliage of a fallen branch by removing its leaves one-by-one, another researcher trims all limbs from the trunk of a tree to test its durability and strength without them.

    The branch of a tree receives a coat of paint before camera software begins analyzing the compression in the bark upon branch movement. 

    Read More
  • The 101 on Emerald Ash Borer

    Emerald ash borer (EAB) is one small pest that has caused a lot of damage. EAB was once thought to be a death sentence for your ash trees. Now, we know it’s not.

    Read on to learn the newest, latest information about this damaging pest and raise awareness about emerald ash borer.

    Read More
  • Detroit Davey Employees Preserve a Treasured, EAB-Infested Ash Tree

    We all have one tree in our yard – or from our childhood home – that holds the most special place in our heart. The one you planted right when you moved in or the big, stately oak your children used to climb. The one tree you can’t help but smile when you see.

    For Cathy P. in Detroit, it was the tree her late father-in-law had helped her husband plant 20 years ago. But it was time to say goodbye to the tree last fall when emerald ash borer damage threatened its survival. Read below how Davey was able to help keep the memory of her tree alive – even after its demise.

    Read More
  • Protect Your Ash Trees: Spot the Early Signs of EAB

    As tiny as the emerald ash borer (EAB) is, boy, it wreaks havoc.

    This 0.5” beetle has killed millions of ash trees since arriving on the scene in 2002.

    Back then, if too many EAB larvae burrowed in your ash tree, it was likely a goner.

    Read More
  • Are Your Trees and Shrubs Safe from Invasive Diseases?

    Davey employee Kyle McLoughlin discusses invasive disease-spreading pests at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario. Consulting Arborist Kyle McLoughlin, from Davey Resource Group in Ontario, has researched lethal pests for years. He has presented his findings on invasive and endangered species conservation at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.

    “I love ecology,” McLoughlin explains. “The research is so fascinating and keeps coming up at work. It’s great to have a career that relates to my passion.”

    McLoughlin was invited to lecture at the Royal Botanical Gardens through his connections in the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, a non-profit organization dedicated to the study, appreciation and conservation of wild plants and animals. He frequently leads interpretive hikes and has presented previous lectures through the organization.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at info@davey.com.
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.