|The little D-shaped Emerald Ash borer holes were easy to spot. I was surprised how perfectly they were bored into the bark. There's no mistaking them.|
Emerald Ash borers were first detected in Detroit, Michigan in 2002. It took them until 2006 to make it to our area (they probably hitched a ride in a batch of firewood). When they first arrived in our area they moved about a quarter- to a half-mile a year, but now they are reported to be moving about 20 miles a year. I guess we should be thankful we got as many years as we did out of our huge tree. I wish the trunk injections had worked. While looking up treatment options for this post, I came across a Cincinnati tree service company that offers a 100% guarantee to their trunk injections. I think I'm going to give them a call and see if they can save the tree. They use a special solution of Emamectin Benzoate, called TREE-äge. They use a different style of arbor plugs than the treatments we've received over the past couple of years, and they are supposed to be much less expensive (yeah!). Click here to see their process for protecting ash trees. They also only require treatment every two years. I'll let you know if I use them, and if their process works.
Not all hope is lost...Individual ash trees may be able to be saved in residential areas using bi-annual pesticide applications, but that solution will not work for the thousands of trees in our forests. Are they all doomed? Recently I read on the Ohio Archaeology Blog about an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) experiment that's being conducted at the Cedar Bog Nature Preserve in Champaign County in central Ohio. Cedar Bog is a fen and is home to many rare plants, including a huge stand of White Cedar trees (glacial relicts). A good portion of Cedar Bog is a hardwood swamp forest made up of Black Ash, Green Ash, White Ash and Pumpkin Ash, so prevention of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation is critical. If the experiment works, salvation will be in the form of a teeny, tiny exotic wasp. Back in 2003 the USDA found three natural predators of the EAB in its native home of Asia. These non-stinging wasps are parasitic on the larvae and eggs of the imported pest, and experiments have found that they parasitize only the EAB. In October of 2011, the first EAB was found in a pheromone trap at Cedar Bog, and on May 25, 2012, the first round of parasitoid wasps was released. Click here to read all about the Cedar Bog experiment on the Ohio Archeology blog. Let's hope it works!!
This video by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture shows the lifecycle of the Emerald Ash Borer.
This video by the University of Nebraska shows how to identify the Emerald Ash Borer.
Have you hugged your Ash tree lately? If you haven't you might want to. You never know how long it will be around...