Learn more about the nearby Emerald Ash Borer

Staff Writer
Story City Herald

With signs of the Emerald Ash Borer approaching in areas as close as Boone, the organization Trees Forever is providing more information about the nearby insect:

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a metallic-green insect native to Asia. The adult beetle is approximately 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. In North America, the EAB was discovered in 2002 near the port cities of Detroit, Mich., and Windsor, Ontario. Regionally, the insect was detected in Illinois in 2006 and in Iowa in 2010, and has since spread extensively in both states.

The adult EAB emerges from infested ash trees via D-shaped holes. EAB larvae leave s-shaped galleries as they tunnel through the layer immediately under the bark, damaging the tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water. Symptoms of EAB include a thinning of the tree’s crown, suckers that shoot up from the base of the tree, and woodpecker activity.

Trees Forever has been helping communities plan for and respond to EAB. For more than 25 years, the group has been encouraging individuals and communities to plant a diverse mix of trees. Greater tree diversity decreases the risk that future tree pests and diseases can devastate rural and community forests as Emerald Ash Borer threatens to do today and Dutch Elm Disease had a generation ago.

Tips for homeowners:

Identify the ash trees on your property.

Stay abreast of treatment information. There is no cure, only prevention. Be weary of scam artists and fly-by-night operators who may claim to have a cure, or who offer expensive or unnecessary treatments.

If EAB is identified within 15 miles of your home, then you may want to consider treatment of your ash trees.

Do not treat ash trees if EAB has not been found within 15 miles. You would most likely be wasting time and money.

Diversify your tree population. To prevent a future problem such as EAB, plant a diverse mix of trees and plants.