In Olympia, Washington, our trees are one of the most beautiful entities that make up the Puget Sound landscape. Not only do they boost curb appeal by adding character to our property, they prevent erosion and improve air quality while providing a powerful barrier against summertime heat. However, no matter how strong and majestic they may seem, trees can often fall victim to unsuspecting predators like the Emerald Ash Borer.
Native to Russia and Asia, the Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species that is making its way across the United States. By attacking and burrowing in Ash trees, the Emerald Ash Borer has already caused significant damage to the Ash tree population since its discovery in 2002 while killing off entire forests of these beautiful trees in the process. That’s why Westcoast Tree Care would like to provide you with the following signs to look out for when it comes to spotting an EAB infestation and whether or not it warrants an emergency tree removal.
What To Look Out For
Dark green and metallic in color, the Emerald Ash Borer is a winged beetle with a purple-colored abdomen that averages around half an inch long. While EAB adults tend to be harmless, the larva of this beetle is especially hazardous to trees. Creamy white in color with bell-shaped body segments, the larvae feeds off a tree’s transportation tissues by burrowing paths and tunnels between the bark and wood causing it to die over time. With the ability to fly approximately half a mile from where they hatch, most EAB infestations occur from the transportation of infested wood in the form of firewood, logs or nursery trees.
How They Affect Your Trees
Ash trees in any environment (urban, forest, etc.), can be affected in areas where other trees of the same species are infested. While it can take 3-4 years for a large Ash tree to die, smaller Ash trees are much more susceptible to an EAB infestation. Signs to look out for include D-shaped exit holes, paths or traces in a back and forth pattern or vertical fissures and cracks in the bark of a tree. Canopy dieback starting at the top of the tree is another telltale sign of a heavily infested tree.
Preventative Tree Care
Unfortunately, once an Ash tree has been infected it can be hard to get rid off. However, there are certain types of EAB treatment options available in the form of soil and trunk injections. Caught early, both treatments can be highly effective by delivering the product right into a tree’s tissue which is then evenly dispersed throughout its canopy. In heavily infested trees, however, it’s important to have a tree removed as soon as possible to keep it from spreading to nearby, healthy trees.
Do what’s right for your home, landscape and the environment. If you suspect an EAB infestation, it’s important to contact the certified arborist at Westcoast Tree Care at 1.800.767.8733. Our certified arborist is keenly invested in keeping your trees healthy, alive and beautiful using educated and sustainable practices to prevent the spread of EAB.