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Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive pest from Asia that is devastating the population of ash trees in the United States. In Michigan alone, over 20 million trees have died from it since its discovery in 2002. It is now in Illinois. It will continue to spread and will remain a permanent member of our insect population. Ash trees do not have natural defenses to the Emerald Ash Borer; trees of all sizes and conditions have been killed. How did it get here? It appears to have come to America from cargo crates originating in Asia. Since then, it has moved around the country by its natural spread and people moving trees and firewood from one area to another. Once it is in a community, it can move one mile or more a year. The insect larvae feed on the xylem of a tree, disrupting the movement of water and nutrients in it. Early symptoms are hard to diagnose. Often the first signs are dieback at the top of the tree. Trees may be infested for several years before symptoms are visible in the canopy. Another indication that your tree has been infested, are D-shaped exit holes on the trunk and branches. Even with the difficulties presented by the Emerald Ash Borer, there are things you can do to protect your trees. First, take steps to improve the health of the trees. This includes mulching around the trees, fertilizing, watering, etc. Next, there are systemic pesticides that protect the xylem of the tree. When the insect eats the pesticide, it will stop feeding and die. Prevention is the best defense against Emerald Ash Borer. You will need to continue to treat your trees to maintain protection. Best results occur after the 2nd year of treatment. Maintaining tree health and a preventative application before the tree is significantly challenged by the Emerald Ash Borer is your best chance of keeping your Ash trees for years to come. For help with your trees or more information, contact Horticultural Consultants. Phone (630) 851-1898 email

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