What is Emerald Ash Borer?
How Do I Know If My Trees Are Infected?
Trees declining from many of these reasons may show general symptoms of tree stress and these do not specifically indicate EAB. However, these indicators can be early signs of EAB, although such symptoms will occur when EAB attacks ash trees.
Canopy Thinning & Crown Dieback
As larvae feed beneath the bark, they damage tissues responsible for transporting water and nutrients. Initial damage appears as thinning in the upper canopy of the tree and branches can die over time.
When trees are stressed, they may try to grow new branches and leaves wherever they still can (suckering). Stressed ash trees may have new growth at the base of the trunk or on main branches.
Trees infested with EAB are often sought out and attacked by woodpeckers. However, woodpeckers will attack just about any tree full of insect larvae. Thus, while woodpecker activity can be an indicator of EAB, it does not specifically confirm an EAB infestation. Extensive woodpecker damage is sometimes referred to as “flecking” or “bronzing” or “blonding”.
D-Shaped Exit Holes
Emerging from ash trees in June and July, adult emerald ash borers leave behind distinct D-shaped exit holes. These holes are approximately 1/8″ wide and can be oriented in any direction (i.e., the flat side may be facing upwards, downwards, etc.). These D-shaped holes are a strong indicator of EAB. These exit holes should not be confused with woodpecker damage, which holes are more rounded.
Sources: Thank you to the Wisconsin Dept of Entomology, University of New Hampshire, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan for sharing the information and continuing research.
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