Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in North America in 2002. Since its accidental introduction from Asia, this invasive pest has killed untold millions of ash trees in forest, riparian, and urban settings. In some forests near the epicenter of the invasion in southeast Michigan, more than 99% of the ash trees with stems greater than 2.5 cm in diameter have been killed. All North American species of ash that the Borer has encountered to date are susceptible to varying degrees, including green ash, white ash, and black ash, which are the most widely distributed and abundant ash species in North America. It appears increasingly likely that the Emerald Ash Borer could functionally extirpate one of North America’s most widely distributed tree species, with devastating economic and ecological impacts. (Daniel A. Herms; Deborah G. McCullough, January 2014)
While the most common tree species in North America may be susceptible to the relatively new threat of Emerald Ash Borer infestation, there are a variety of ways we can react now to help reduce the environmental and economic damage that seems inevitable.
The first step in preparing for EAB is to accurately identify Ash trees in your community. The Michigan State University Extension has compiled an informative reference guide to aid in Ash Tree Identification.
Another helpful guide from MSU will help you to determine weather or not your trees may already be showing signs of infestation.
If the Ash trees on your property are unhealthy, you may want to consider replacement and/or removal. Be careful when removing your ash tree, as transportation of Ash debris over some boundaries is prohibited. Refer to this page for information on laws regarding Emerald Ash Borer and up to date on the resulting quarantine boundaries.
If your Ash trees are in healthy condition and provide the benefit of shade over hot Iowa summers, are essential for erosion prevention, or you just couldn’t bear to lose them, you may want to consider treatment options. Quality Care, the Nature Care Company can help protect your Ash trees from this invasive species.