emerald ash borer damage in NJ
Garden

How to Protect Your Trees From the Emerald Ash Borer

Have you heard about the ash tree devastation spreading across America due to the emerald ash borer?

It is terrible!

And they’ve invaded my ash trees. The damage is so bad that I have to remove them as a result.

But you may not have to if you take steps to protect them now.

While a large majority of my blogs are pretty with lots of beautiful plants and flowers, I have to address a real problem that is sweeping across America.

It’s serious because the emerald ash borer is killing off ash trees and putting our safety at risk.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage

Ash trees that are close to homes or power lines are a very serious hazard after the emerald ash borer takes hold.

While infested trees with significant signs of damage will need to be removed, there are steps that we can take to mitigate the damage from the emerald ash borer.

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emerald ash borer damage
This photo was taken the first day I noticed the damage. It was only on this one side of the tree.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage

I knew about the emerald ash borer and the damage they caused but didn’t know a lot. Life takes us in all different directions, and I was not focusing on this as an issue yet.

Admittedly, I may have also had an “it won’t happen to me” kind of attitude.

But my ignorance and complacency were a huge and very costly mistake.

And I don’t want to see you make the same mistake I did.

About a week ago, I noticed stripped bark on my ash tree that extended from roughly 2 feet above ground to at least 20 feet high on one side of the trunks.

The damage is astounding!

emerald ash borer damage in NJ

I quickly looked it up only to find that it is due to an ash borer infestation.

The moment I realized what it was, I called a certified arborist because the inclination is to take these down.

But if there’s a way to save the trees, a certified arborist would be able to provide the right information.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage
One week later, and the damage extends around the whole tree affecting all of the trunks.

What is the Emerald Ash Borer and Why You Need to Act Now

The emerald ash borer is an invasive, non-native insect that is destroying ash trees across the country.

It’s important to know whether and where you have ash trees on your property so you can care for them and help protect them from this devastation.

Why is it called the emerald ash borer?

They are roughly 1/2 inch long, emerald green in color, and produce D-shaped holes when they leave the interiors of ash trees.

Emerald ash borers lay eggs inside ash trees where they make serpentine tunnels. These tunnels interfere with the tree’s ability to move nutrients and water throughout the tree that ultimately causes decline, and eventually death.

Thus, learning how to protect ash trees from emerald ash borers can literally save your trees.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage

How to Protect Trees from Emerald Ash Borer Damage.

In order to manage and control the spread of the emerald ash borer, we need to keep ash trees happy and healthy.

All homeowners need to identify ash trees on their property and employ the assistance of a certified tree expert to help determine the proper means of control to protect, save and/or safely remove trees.

If an insecticidal treatment is warranted, it can be used to slow the damage to trees. Such treatments are typically applied in May/June before adult insects are visible.

So it is really important to act now.

Emerald Ash Borer Damage
Notice all the shredded bark from my tree on the ground. This is terrible!

Why You Need a Certified Arborist

There are lots of tree guys out there. From certified tree experts to local contractors that are ready and willing to remove trees.

But who should we choose?

The reason it is SO IMPORTANT to have a certified arborist look at trees before removing them is that you may NOT NEED to remove them.

Certified tree experts have studied trees, can correctly identify and address pest and disease problems, as well as apply the proper treatments at the proper time.

Where the emerald ash borer is concerned, there is an inclination to just remove these trees. And while that may be the ultimate result for many, there are lots of ash trees that are not infested with emerald ash borer damage and could be saved.

So it is really important to treat trees before an infestation occurs.

Walking around my property with a certified tree expert, we spoke a long time about each of the ash trees on my property and evaluated the options for each and every one.

If an ash tree can be saved from an emerald ash borer infestation, a certified tree expert can apply injections into the tree in May/June to help protect them from these invasive insects.

These injections last about 2 years and are much less costly than removing the trees. And when I say much less costly, that means hundreds of dollars to treat versus thousands of dollars to remove one tree.

Contact a local certified tree expert to help properly identify emerald ash borer damage and discuss ways to mitigate this invasive pest.

To learn more about the emerald ash borer, CLICK HERE.

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How to Protect Trees from the Emerald Ash Borer
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10 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh this is awful! Having to cut trees is painful, and to see trees being destroyed by an invasive insect is very scary.
    Thanks for sharing this!!!

  2. My husband and I have 6 acres in New York. We literally live in a forest. We cut as few trees down as possible to build the house but tried to save as many as we could. Our lot has several different trees alot of pine and ash an a few other varieties. So far we only lost a few ash trees. Some are way in the back so we leave them alone theres not much we can do, it is pricey to have them treated but we have the ones in front injected every 3 years. We do use a professional but it is really sad to see our trees hundreds of years old being cut down. In New York it is illegal to transfer any wood form 1 place to another so as to not spread the disease around. Yes, it is very sad.

    1. Yeah I would do the same if they aren’t close to the house. I couldn’t agree more with you – it’s terrible to see all the damage.

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