If My Trees Have Emerald Ash Borers, Is There Anything I Can Do to Save Them?

Updated July 10, 2019

If My Trees Have Emerald Ash Borers, Is There Anything I Can Do to Save Them?

Does your tree have emerald ash borers? The emerald as borer is a type of insect that can be found in the US. Once these beetles stay on the trees and inhabit it, this will eventually result in that particular tree dying.  If you have an ash tree planted in your yard, then it is important to make sure that is stays safe and protected against these beetles.

How do these beetles infect your tree? The larva of the emerald ash borer hatches on your ash tree’s branch. By doing this, the invasion will disrupt the nutrition system and eventually kill the tree over time.

Detecting Infestation

The key to stopping infection and treating it right away is through detecting it early on. Below are some of the most common signs of an ash borer infestation:

  • Woodpecker holes and the loss of your tree barks are among the early signs of an infection of the emerald ash borer beetle.
  • As the beetles increase in numbers, your tree’s leaves will begin to thin, starting from the top.

Below are other signs of a sick and dying tree:

  • Poor structure, such as your tree beginning to lean on one side or having an unnatural growth pattern.
  • Appearance of mushroom spores, soft and breakable wood, or other signs of your tree decaying.
  • If you notice your tree branches not attached properly, or when your branches are starting to fall.

What To Do

There are available treatment options and efforts for the protection of trees against emerald ash borers. Treatments are usually 80-90 percent effective, but your tree needs to be in good condition, and the treatment should be done during the right time by an expert. The usual treatment options for emerald ash borers are:

  • Soil or trunk injection
  • Application of bark spray
  • Canopy sprays

Soil and trunk injections are the most commonly used treatments, because they target the beetles inside the tree itself. The sprays are applied directly on the tree and left to be soaked in through the trunk and branches.

Deciding to Treat Your Tree or Cut It Instead

If emerald ash borers are widespread in your area, expect your trees to become infected in just a few years. It is therefore important to preserve them and treat them if they are infected. But how do you decide if your tree needs treatment? What you need to do is to have your tree inspected by a professional in order to determine if it can still be saved.

If removal of the tree is advised, then you should probably proceed to cutting it instead. Cutting it is evident of your tree has already lost a large chunk of its leaves, but if most of its canopy is still there, then you might still be able to save it. The next step is to evaluate the costs of treating along with the value of your tree. Do your feel that the price for the treatment is worth it? Does it have sentimental value?

Treatment Costs

The overall cost for treatment varies. However, keep in mind that infected trees need to be re-treated again at least once every year, or once in two years, especially if the infestation is common in your area.

Actions to Be Taken

  • To prevent infestation, you can ask for regular inspections on your property to make sure that you detect any infestation easy on, and in order to protect them as well.
  • Treat the tree right away in the event that you discover any infestation threat so that you can prevent it from spreading as well.
  • Take-down trees that are severely infected. This will also protect other nearby trees as well.