Texas’ active Ash Borer monitoring program
Supporting Texas Active Ash Borer Monitoring Program
Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire or emerald ash borer (EAB), as these insects are more commonly known, is an exotic beetle that thrives on ash foliage. While the adult beetles can only cause insignificant damage, the same cannot be said about their larvae that feed on the inner bark and interrupt the flow of water and nutrients throughout the tree. The pests have already killed tens of millions of trees in affected states like Michigan, Colorado, and Kansas to name a few. Although there are no traces of the beetle in Texas, the College Station TX government is implementing an active ash borer monitoring program that is always on the lookout for possible invasion
Signs and Symptoms of EAB Infestation
EABs love devouring ash trees of the genus Fraxinus. When the larvae destroy the layer under the bark, the transport system of the tree is blocked. Depending on its age and extent of damage, a tree may die within a span of two to five years, including the healthy ones. Here are the signs to watch out for EAB influx.
• Formation of S-Shaped Galleries: A number of distinctive serpentine tunnels under the bark produce girdling wounds. These are the structures that block and interfere with the passage of water and nutrients through the transport tissues within the tree.
• Thinning of leaves and loss of color: Another outward sign of EAB infestation is manifested on the uppermost leaves of the tree that tend to lose their green color. Eventually, the leaves thin out and the crown of the tree dies.
• Growth of new sprouts: In an effort to create new routes to transport nutrients, the tree may develop epicormic shoots growing from the roots, trunk or branches. The crown withers and dies. Ultimately, the tree starves to death.
• Appearance of D-shaped holes: These are exit holes used by adult EAB beetles to fly to nearby ash trees, feed on lush foliage, and lay eggs on the bark of new trees to begin another cycle of destruction.
EAB Insecticide Treatment
If you suspect or detect ash borer infestation in your area, call the EAB hotline of Texas Ash Borer Monitoring Program. If you choose to take the DIY route, you can find that several insecticide products are available to control EAB infestation. Most of these products are systemic insecticides with imidacloprid applied as soil drenchers around the tree base. Other granular products are also effective. Make sure to choose the right product and consider these factors when you opt to treat the problem on your own.
• Tree location: Not all ash trees need to be subjected to insecticide application. Treatments are recommended only for those growing within a quarantined area or 15 miles of confirmed EAB presence.
• Health of tree: Insecticide treatments are more effective if the trees to be treated have less than 50 percent thinning crown. Trees with canopy thinning greater than 50 percent are recommended to be removed and destroyed following established guidelines.
• Cost of Treatment: The high cost of yearly insecticide treatments is a factor to consider alongside the value of a particular ash tree.
If you want a convenient and effective way to protect your ash trees, contact a certified arborist or seek professional services from a pest control company. Pest control professionals can accurately assess the magnitude of the infestation problem and apply the most effective treatment that will save your effort, time, and hard-earned money.