Ready or not, here it comes. The City of Loveland calls it a “mean, green tree-eating machine.” Homeowners across the U.S. cringe when notified that the beetle has made its way to their state. What we’re talking about is the emerald ash borer. This tiny, metallic-green beetle that has destroyed just about every species of ash trees in Eastern and Midwestern states is now spreading through the Front Range. In 2010, tree care experts first discovered the beetle in Boulder. More recently, though, arborists confirmed EAB invasions in nearby Longmont. As a Loveland resident, you may be wondering what you can do to keep your tree from becoming another victim of EAB. Keep reading to learn why you should care about this ash tree disease.
To provide some context, let’s look at some interesting ash tree statistics in Denver. Be a Smart Ash confirms that there are nearly 1.5 million ash trees in the Mile High City alone. Though there may not be as many in Loveland, we undoubtedly have our fair share. Chances are that you rely on your ash tree for shade during the hot Colorado summers. In the fall, you watch as the leaves on your tree change colors and provide a breathtaking scene. The reality is that unless we take a proactive approach with EAB, the number of healthy ash trees in Northern Colorado is going to drop significantly over the next handful of years.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s look at three distinctive features to help you determine if your tree is an ash:
- Leaves – Keep in mind that ash leaves grow in compound clusters with five 11 leaflets each.
- Bark – Note that the bark on mature ash trees has a distinctive raised diamond pattern. On the other hand, younger ash trees have smoother bark.
- Branches – Another unique characteristic of ash trees is that their branches grow in pairs that oppose one another.
Is Your Tree Infested with EAB?
Two or more of the following symptoms could indicate an infestation:
- Canopy dieback – When an ash tree can no longer send nutrients to branches due to the damage of the EAB, dieback results.
- Increased woodpecker activity – Have you noticed more woodpeckers around your tree than normal? Interestingly, the beetle larvae under the tree bark attract woodpeckers who feed on them.
- Presence of adult insect – Adult insects can be found feeding on the leaves of the ash tree. It’s important to know that these pesky insects are shorter in length than the width of a penny.
- ‘D’ shaped exit holes – This is unique to the EAB. Adult insects that emerge from behind the bark leave a ‘D’ shaped hole that measures about ⅛ of an inch in diameter.
Why You Should Consult a Reliable Tree Service
Another tricky part with the EAB is that there are no predators in the area to keep its population in control. Unfortunately, there is no DIY solution to eliminate this insect for good. That’s why it’s imperative to get in touch with a certified arborist. At Schra Tree Care, we specialize in providing the highest quality of tree service. This includes offering protection against destructive pests that can cause tree disease.
When you contact our tree care specialists, we will perform a full assessment to design the most reasonable care and maintenance plan. From there, we may suggest any number of recommendations.
Call Schra Tree Care now to ask about effective emerald ash borer treatment.