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  • Writer's pictureKelly Robinson

What is the Emerald Ash Bore Beetle(EAB)?

The Emerald Ash bore beetle is active here in Denver, Colorado
The Emerald Ash bore beetle is active here in Denver, Colorado.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive insect that has been causing serious damage to ash trees in Colorado and across the United States. This invasive species, originally from Asia, was first identified in the state in 2013 and has since spread to multiple counties.

The EAB feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. This results in a gradual decline of the tree's health, often leading to death within a few years of infestation. The adult insects are metallic green and about 1/2 inch long, while their larvae are creamy white and can be found under the bark.

The damage caused by the EAB is not limited to just the trees themselves. Communities and municipalities also face significant financial impacts, as they must remove and replace dead or dying ash trees along streets, in parks, and in other public spaces.

Preventative treatment is the most effective way to protect ash trees from the EAB. This can include the use of insecticides, which can be applied to the tree's trunk or injected directly into the tree's vascular system. These treatments can provide protection for 2-3 years and can be reapplied as necessary.

Homeowners with ash trees in their yards should also consider preventative treatment, especially if the trees are healthy and of significant value. Professional arborists can provide recommendations for the best course of action.

It is important to note that once a tree is infested with EAB, it is unlikely to recover. This is why preventative measures are crucial in protecting Colorado's ash tree population.

In addition to preventative treatments, there are also cultural practices that can help ash trees to resist infestation. These include proper watering, fertilization, and pruning. Regular tree maintenance can help to keep them healthy and make them less susceptible to infestation.

The rule of thumb with an infected ash tree is: Is more than half the tree dead or activly dying? If the answer is yes then the Ash tree should be removed and replaced with a better species of tree for the area. If not then the ash should be injected with a high rate of Mechtanite by a licensed arborst. If the tree is to be removed its important the wood not be transported outside the area to keep the biotic nuciance from spreading.

EAB is a growing problem in the denver metro area. If you have an ash and would like to see it stick around, we reccommned you get it treated. Think of it as an insurance policy on the tree that last for two years. Keep up on the injections and your should have a long and happy life with your lovely ash tree well into the future! Cheers Denver !

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