Emerald Ash Borer Infestations & Treatments

The Emerald Ash Borer is a metallic wood-boring beetle. This beetle normally serves to kill weakened or dying trees as part of nature’s recycling scheme, however for an undetermined reason this beetle will also feed on vigorously growing or weakened Ash trees; it does not discriminate.

Identifying Unhealthy Ash Trees in Iowa

The Emerald Ash Borer creates tunnels that disrupt the flow of a tree’s nutrients when feeding larvae eat away at the water and nutrient-conducting tissues under the bark; this effectively starves the Ash tree. A canopy of a heavily-infested tree will begin to die, usually near the top and progressing downward.

Epicormic Sprouts/Suckers

Due to the damage spreading from the top of the tree, many times infested Ash trees will produce epicormic (“water”) sprouts or suckers on the trunk or lower branches. Epicormic sprouts are a result of the lack of water/nutrient uptake. The Ash tree is trying to feed itself by maximizing photosynthesis. 

Leaf & Bark Physical Signs of Infection

Adult feeding (removal of tissue along leaflet edges) can be seen on affected Ash trees. The bark may crack directly over larval galleries. Adult beetles chew characteristic “D”-shaped exit holes as they leave former feeding sites below the bark.Woodpeckers often are found on infested Ash tree trunks, feeding on larvae; this is most often noted during winter. 

How to get rid of Emerald Ash Borer Issues

Unless treated by your local certified ornamental applicator or arborist, Ash Trees attacked by the Emerald Ash Borer will die within 1-3 years. The Tree Doctor treats Emerald Ash Borer and we are the only local and privately-owned company that has the newest technology in an injection gun. We will determine the DBH (diameter @ breast height) of your Ash tree; using that we will be able to determine the number of injection sites and mL of TREE-äge (Emamectin Benzoate) to inject into the tree. The Tree Doctor uses the only product on the market 99% effective in preventing, curing and eliminating the threat of Emerald Ash Borer infestation.

Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer

  • “D-shaped” exit holes on trunk ~ 1/8 inch diameter
  • “S” shaped serpentine galleries underneath bark
  • Suckering from base of trunk
  • 3-5 inch vertical cracks or splits in bark
  • Canopy dieback
  • Heavy woodpecker activity or damage

Tips for Homeowners with Ash Trees

Decide the Value of Your Ash Tree

Trees can add value to a home, but some circumstances with Emerald Ash Borer present in your trees may warrant a tree removal. You can help determine whether to keep your ash tree or not with the National Tree Benefit Calculator that takes into account your home’s location, type of property, and more. 

Be Proactive About Ash Tree Treatments

To maximize the chances that your ash tree(s) will stay healthy, do not wait until you see signs of an infestation to call. Procrastinating a call to your local arborist could cost you a tree removal or even an obstacle in selling your home in the future.

Know Your Liability

As cited by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa is under federal firewood transport quarantine; it is strongly recommended to not transport firewood within the state or over state lines in order to slow the spread of EAB infestation throughout the country. 

Movement of the following items are prohibited out of EAB quarantined counties (Iowa included)

  • Firewood from hardwood trees
  • Entire Ash trees
  • Ash limbs and branches
  • Ash logs or untreated ash lumber with bark attached
  • Uncomposted ash chips and uncomposted ash bark chips greater than 1 inch in two of three dimensions

Call The Tree Doctor, MD for Des Moines Tree Treatments

Do you have an Ash tree on your property? Do you believe you may have an Emerald Ash Borer infestation? Don’t wait to call The Tree Doctor! Contact us today to schedule an appointment for treatment. 

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