Emerald ash borers are the talk of the arborist town, and not in a good way. These small beetles are wreaking havoc on ash trees throughout the country, and with the invasive species recently showing up in the Front Range, it is more important than ever to be prepared to handle what is almost inevitable. The first step in preventing a major infestation is education, so today we’d like to share some of our knowledge about the emerald ash borer with you.

What is it, and how do I know if my trees have it?

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is the most destructive forest pest in North American history and has caused billions of dollars in damage, destroyed millions of trees, and put every ash tree at risk. The beetle is native to northeastern Asia, and while scientists are unsure exactly how it got here, it is hypothesized that they most likely came in ash wood that was used for stabilizing cargo ships. There are not enough natural enemies of EAB, which means it is an invasive species that continues to grow and destroy trees.

Effect of Ash Borers Don’t Stop When A Tree Is Removed

The reason that emerald ash borers are such a pest is because they attack both living and dead ash trees. Trees in woodlots, tree remnants in landscaped areas, and firewood can all be infested with ash borers. The EAB larvae have been found in branches measuring as little as 1-inch across, so removing the tree does not necessarily solve the problem.

The Emerald Ash Borer Is Spreading Quickly

EAB was first found in 2002 in six Michigan counties. Due to large areas of tree death, it is believed that these beetles had been in the area for at least ten years at the time they were found. Since then, 30 states and some Canadian provinces have dealt with EAB problems.

How To Identify Emerald Ash Borer

Adult beetles are a metallic green color and only attack ash trees – hence their name. They are about ½-inch long, and leave a ‘D’ shaped hole in the bark of the tree when they emerge in spring. Woodpeckers love feeding on EAB larvae, so an ash tree with heavy woodpecker damage may have an emerald ash borer infestation.

Is EAB In Loveland?

As your trusted Loveland, Colorado tree experts, we keep up with the latest on where the emerald ash borer is causing destruction. A few years ago, EAB was found in Boulder, and was more recently spotted in Longmont – about 17 miles from Loveland. Earlier this year, Loveland’s City Council approved almost $100,000 in funding for the first stage of preparation in fighting ash borers, which will include removing and replacing at-risk trees owned by the city.

You Can Help Prevent The Destruction Of Ash Trees

Cities that are heavily infected with diseased ash trees are under quarantine, including Boulder County. This means it is illegal to transport ash wood outside of its boundaries. This could soon be a reality for Loveland as well, and prevention is the first step. If you have ash trees on your property, schedule a free tree assessment by Schra Tree Care’s certified arborists. Our tree service is dedicated to preventing the spread of EAB. These beetles will attack healthy trees, but prefer trees in distress. Our certified arborists can identify which trees on your property are at risk and treat them if they are worth saving, or safely remove them from your property.