When I first bought a new house, I realized that the front trees were a little overgrown. I was worried about a branch breaking in the wind and smashing into a window or the roof, and so I decided to invest in professional tree service. When the arborist came, he had more concerns than just a few overgrown branches. Apparently, a few of my trees had also developed serious pest infestations, and I was worried about what it might mean for their health. He carefully trimmed each tree to ward off disease, and within a few weeks, they were looking a lot better. This blog explains how a professional tree trimmer could help you, so that you aren't left with dying trees.
If you have an ash tree growing on your property, you may have noticed that it no longer appears as healthy as it once did. You may see leaves falling prematurely or the crowns of the tree dying at a rapid rate. If so, look for the following signs that your ash tree may have an emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation.
Vertical Splits in the Bark
One of the first things you should look at when determining whether your tree is suffering from an EAB infestation is the bark. While inspecting the bark, look for vertical splits that have gaps wide enough to see the underlying wood.
If you see these vertical splits, pry the bark gently away from the tree to inspect the wood. If the tree is infested with EAB, you may see S-shaped grooves where the larvae of the borers have hatched and started feeding on the wood. You may even see the larvae still present in the grooves.
Shapes Resembling "Ds" Appear in the Bark
While examining the splits in the tree's bark, also look for holes that resemble the capital letter "D." While larvae make an S-shaped groove, the adults create these D-shaped holes when they grow out of the larval stage and break free from the nursery.
When you see the "D" shapes along with the presence of fresh larvae, this indicates that there is more than one generation of the borers that are feeding on the tree. Since a longer infestation causes irreparable damage, you need to have the tree looked at by a tree service as soon as possible.
New Branches Sprouting near the Base of the Tree
After inspecting the bark, look below the splits towards the base of the tree to see if you see any new branches sprouting from the trunk. New growth below the larvae nests is another sign that the tree is heavily infested with EAB.
Since the larvae and adult borers feed heavily on the tree, they rob the upper branches of the necessary nutrients to grow healthy new branches. As a result, the tree will try to sprout new growth below the nests where the nutrients are still present to keep itself alive.
If your ash tree is exhibiting any of the above signs, it is very likely that it has become infested with borers. If you suspect that this is the case, contact a tree service that offers emerald ash borer treatment so that they can inspect the health of the tree and discuss your options for getting rid of the infestation, as well as preventing the spread of the insects to other ash trees on your property.