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What Indiana Tree Owners Need to Know About the Emerald Ash Borer

In terms of insects that infest trees, few cause as much damage as the Emerald Ash Borer. These bright green, oblong insects often kill their host trees. Since they have been seen throughout the northeast, including in the state of Indiana, it's important for you to know the basics about the Emerald Ash Borer. Here are some common questions you may have as a landowner.

What Kinds of Trees Are Susceptible?

Emerald Ash Borers will infest almost any ash species, including the common white, black, and green ash trees. Mountain ash and prickly ash are not as susceptible to the Emerald Ash Borer. 
If you're not sure whether a tree on your property is an ash, here are a few qualities to look for:
  • An opposite branching pattern: Branches emerge from the two sides of the stem directly across from one another.
  • Compound leaves: Each stem has between 5 and 11 leaflets, which are oval-shaped with jagged edges.
  • Thick, diamond-patterned bark: This bark pattern is seen on the more common white and green ash trees, whereas black ash trees have thinner, scaly bark.
Ash trees are less common than they once were in Indiana because the Emerald Ash Borer infestation has killed so many of them. If you are unsure whether a tree on your property is an ash, then ask your tree care company to identify it for you. This way you'll know if you need to watch the trees for symptoms of an infestation.

How Do You Know a Tree Is Infested With Emerald Ash Borers?

Emerald Ash Borers are not overly shy, so when your tree is infested, you typically see the bugs themselves. They're metallic green in color and about 1/2 inch long with flat backs. You may also see their larvae, which are cream-colored and have pincers extending from their abdomens.

Other signs of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation include D-shaped holes in the tree bark, dieback of the tree's crown, yellow or wilted foliage, and vertical splits in the bark. Some tree owners also notice an increased presence of woodpeckers because these birds feed on the Emerald Ash Borer larvae.

How Do Emerald Ash Borers Kill a Tree?

The larvae work their way into the tissue beneath the bark. The damage they cause eventually makes it impossible for the tree to transport nutrients and water to its branches. Without any intervention, the bugs typically kill an ash tree within several years. Trees weakened by an Emerald Ash Borer infestation are also increasingly susceptible to fungal infections that may hasten death.

Can You Treat or Cure a Tree With Emerald Ash Borers?

If the infestation is discovered early, then you can sometimes save the tree by having it sprayed with insecticides. The treatment needs to be repeated annually and is not cheap, so this approach is typically only recommended when the tree has significant value.

However, if more than half of the tree's canopy is thinned, then the insecticide treatment won't be effective. Such trees should be removed and destroyed to help prevent the spread of the insects.

Can You Prevent Emerald Ash Borer Infestation?

Emerald Ash Borers are very common in Indiana, and there is no way to ensure your tree does not become infested. However, you can do a few things to reduce your tree's risk of infestation, including:
  • Never bring firewood onto your property, as it may be harboring Emerald Ash Borers.
  • Remind your neighbors to look for signs of Emerald Ash Borers and have infested trees removed.
  • Keep your tree healthy with annual pruning and fertilization.
The Emerald Ash Borer's influence on forests and landscapes in Indiana is unfortunate. However, if landowners work together to keep these insects at bay, there is hope for ash trees. Contact Above & Beyond Tree Service Inc if you need a tree with a suspected Emerald Ash Borers infestation removed. The sooner you remove a damaged or infested tree, the better.

Above & Beyond
Tree Service Inc

19865 Moontown Road
Westfield, IN 460602
Phone: 317-867-5230

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