Ashes to Ashes

By: Jeffrey P. Hagfors, Certified Arborist

Winter 2004 Newsletter in Adobe PDF format The Emerald Ash Borer is a very destructive pest that has a strong foothold in lower Michigan. It has not been identified in Wisconsin yet, but experts feel it is coming.

By: Jeffrey P. Hagfors, Certified Arborist

Winter 2004 Newsletter in Adobe PDF format The Emerald Ash Borer is a very destructive pest that has a strong foothold in lower Michigan. It has not been identified in Wisconsin yet, but experts feel it is coming.

Emerald ash borer is responsible for killing six million trees in six counties of southeast Michigan. Emerald ash borer is coming to Wisconsin. When? We don’t know, but it’s coming.

Emerald ash borer, a native to much of Asia, is an exotic pest in the United States. It is believed that the Emerald ash borer arrived in Detroit, Michigan in 1998. It likely came from infected wood packaging crates from China. In this short period of time, Emerald ash borer has spread into Ontario, Canada, northern Ohio and northeast Indiana. It is also in Maryland, where it is believed to have come from infected landscape trees from Michigan. Emerald ash borer has not been found in Wisconsin as of December 2003, but we are preparing for its arrival. When? Five years, maybe three, perhaps less.

Emerald ash borer is a very destructive pest. Emerald ash borer shouldn’t be confused with a much different native insect called Ash borer. Emerald ash borer is a “flat-headed borer” similar to the native Bronze birch borer. The adult is a small, slender, shiny metallic green beetle about 1/2 inch long. The adults emerge through a tiny D-shaped exit hole in late May and June. They live and breed for about 2-4 weeks after this emergence. Some light feeding on the leaves takes place during their brief adult life. The female lays individual eggs on the ash trees she visits. Each female is capable of laying up to 75 eggs. These eggs hatch in only 7-10 days. The larvae quickly chew their way through the bark and into the sapwood where they spend all of their time creating tunnels by their feeding thus disrupting the tree’s ability to distribute water and nutrients between the roots and the crown. The larvae overwinter in the tree and then pupate in the spring as the temperatures warm. They emerge again in May and June to repeat the cycle. Emerald ash borer can kill a healthy ash tree in two years.

Emerald ash borer attacks and kills white, green, black and all horticultural varieties of ash. Emerald ash borer does not attack mountain ash, which is not a “true” ash tree. In North America, Emerald ash borer has only attacked ash trees. Yet, in its native Asia they also attack walnuts and elms. Emerald ash borer is a significant threat. They even attack healthy and vigorous ash trees. Other similar borers attack only stressed and declining trees. In some locations around Detroit, Michigan, Emerald ash borer was killing 100 percent of the ash trees. It is estimated that Wisconsin urban forests are composed of 10-15 percent ash trees (higher in some local communities).

Much has been learned about Emerald ash borers in the past 12 months. At Wachtel we are keeping up with ongoing developments regarding this pest. We will continue to keep you updated. Rest assured, there are treatments that Wachtel can provide to help preserve your ash trees. We continue to be Wisconsin’s leader in tree preservation and customer education. Be wary of charlatans and frauds. These days it is common for door to door “snake oil practitioners” and “self proclaimed tree doctors,” who feed on fear and recite misinformation to unknowing tree owners. Don’t take chances with a second rate “tree removal service.” Choose the leader. Choose Wachtel.

© Copyright 2004 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.

Return to Newsletters

 

Request a Consultant

Interested in having one of our qualified staff contact you about your trees and landscaping? Let us know your ZIP code and we'll let you know who's in your area.


Request a Municipal Specialist

Specialized Services:

  • Urban Forest Management
  • Tree Preservation Planning Involving Wooded Sites
  • Corporate Campus Tree Mapping & Assessment

Click to Contact

Testimonials

  • Robert & Dorothy Miller - Mequon

    " Tree removal was recommended, we had a contract, the job was completed on Tuesday. We are very pleased, excellent team work. Thank you to Anthony."

  • John K. - Waukesha

    "Always pleased with how you keep our trees happy and healthy!  Thanks!"

Winter tree care and pruning newsletter

Seasonal Tree Care Newsletter

Read More

International Society of Arboriculture The Tree Care Industry Association Wisconsin Arborist Association TCIA Member
80

YEARS

of tree care

1935
2017