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Posts Tagged ‘Emerald Ash Borer’

The treatment of ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer varies according to product and method.

The previous post, Best time to treat ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer, describes the differences in treatment methods for Imidacloprid and Tree-äge.  These are soil drenching (Imidacloprid) and trunk injection (Tree- äge).

For Tree-äge, the treatment frequency is every two years in Cincinnati, because most of Greater Cincinnati is considered a “hot zone.”

Studies on population biology by scientists such as Dr. David Smitley of Michigan State University, indicate that within five years of the trees dying in an area due to Emerald Ash Borer, the population of the insect crashes because they now have no food to sustain reproductive capacity. The population falls, the infestation moves on, but the protected ash trees survive! At that point intervals between treatments can be increased, further reducing the overall cost of treatment.

As mentioned, the success of treatment for Emerald Ash Borer is enhanced by Pneumatic Vertical Mulching.  See post “Why We Recommend Pneumatic Vertical Mulching and Fertilizing” for further detail.

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This article from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture gives a clear strategy to combat the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.

This is useful advice to everyone, whether in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati, Dayton, or anywhere in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

‘Buy Local, Burn Local’ firewood to help stop spread of emerald ash borer

Monday, May 23, 2011
For more information contact:
Bill Clary
(502) 564-1137

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer reminds all Kentuckians that they can do their part to control the emerald ash borer by always buying local firewood.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was first discovered in Kentucky two years ago on May 22. The week of May 22-28 is recognized as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week nationwide.

“A good rule of thumb for firewood is ‘buy local, burn local,’” Commissioner Farmer said. “That’s an easy thing Kentuckians can remember to help stop the spread of the emerald ash borer while helping our state’s hardwood producers.”

The movement of infested firewood contributes to the borer’s spread. Quarantines have been established in Kentucky and other states with confirmed infestations because EAB larvae can survive hidden in the bark of firewood.

Commissioner Farmer and other officials urge Kentuckians to take the following steps:

  • Don’t move firewood, even within Kentucky. Don’t bring firewood with you from home to campgrounds or parks. Buy all your wood there, and don’t take extra wood back home.
  • Don’t buy firewood from outside Kentucky. If someone comes to your door selling firewood, ask them where the wood came from. If it came from outside Kentucky, don’t buy it.

The EAB (Agrilus planipennis) likely arrived in the U.S. in 2002 in southwest Michigan hidden in wood packing materials commonly used to ship goods. On May 22, 2009, officials with the Office of the State Entomologist announced the first confirmed findings of the EAB in Kentucky.

State officials since have quarantined 22 Kentucky counties, prohibiting the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, green ash lumber, and other ash materials. The quarantined counties are: Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Campbell, Carroll, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Grant, Greenup, Harrison, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Scott, Shelby, Trimble and Woodford. The EAB has been found in Boone, Boyd, Campbell, Fayette, Franklin, Greenup, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Kenton, Oldham, Owen and Shelby counties.

For more information about the EAB, visit http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/EAB/welcome.html.

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This recent article in the Bowling Green Daily News explains what Kentucky is doing about the Emerald Ash Borer problem.

The Great Outdoors: Bad news bugs

By GEORDON T. HOWELL, For the Daily News
Saturday, May 28, 2011 11:32 PM CDT

If you’ve noticed purple boxes tethered to the limbs of trees alongside county roads the past couple of years and wondered what purpose they served, you are not alone. More than 5,000 of these purple prism traps have been placed throughout Kentucky, with a large concentration in WarrenCounty, to track a foreign invader that has taken up unwelcome residence in the Bluegrass. The purpose of these traps is to monitor the spread of the emerald ash borer. The small insect, native to Asia, preys on and subsequently kills our ash trees as its larvae consume the trees’ inner bark and upsets the flow of water and nutrients. Usually, affected trees die within two years because of the borer larvae’s disruption of the trees’ life processes.

Amazingly, this bug wasn’t even discovered in the United States until 2002, when ash trees in the Great Lakes region began to die off. Since then, the green bug and its destructive young have colonized trees throughout a large area, which includes trees in northern Kentucky as of 2009.

Yet, how can a tiny insect that cannot fly much more than a half-mile from where it emerges spread so quickly in such a relatively short amount of time? The answer lies in us, the human factor. Just as the ash borer most likely arrived in wooden shipping containers carrying goods from far away, American campers now unknowingly spread the insect by packing firewood from home and then traveling hundreds of miles to camping spots, which subsequently become the new habitat for the emerald ash borer. For this and other similar reasons, Kentucky State Parks does not allow outside firewood to be brought in so that exotic pests are not introduced to our forested lands.

The repercussions of the borer’s expansion could be quite bad, considering that the Kentucky Division of Forestry estimates there are more than 220 million stems of white and green ash growing within the state. That equates to a whole lot of susceptible trees on the hillsides and in folks’ yards that could fall victim to this foreign invader.

Twenty counties in Kentucky are under a quarantine to prevent the borers from spreading, which means that permits must be had to move certain articles, such as unprocessed logs, firewood and ash nursery stock, which may harbor the adults or larvae of emerald ash borers.

In our immediate area, where no emerald ash borers have been located, it is suggested only to monitor the ash trees on your property regularly and withhold any treatment of insecticide.

Ashes are easily recognized with a bit of practice, either by searching for a photo online or utilizing a field guide to distinguish them from other similar looking trees like elms. More information about the emerald ash borer, such as how to identify them and more about the insects’ life cycle, can be gathered online at www.emeraldashborer.info. Probably the single greatest take-away from this invading insect’s impact on the country thus far is that we all need to constantly be aware of what each of us takes away from or brings into our local outdoors and the implications that even an armful of firewood for the campsite may have in our surroundings.

— Geordon T. Howell is outdoors columnist for the Daily News. He may be reached by e-mailing highbrasshowell@yahoo.com.

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This article, from the Cincinnati Enquirer on June 20, 2011,, shows Back Tree Service’s own Darrell Perkins injecting an ash tree with TREE-age.

 

Emerald ash borer cuts swath of destruction

‘These beetles are unstoppable … It’s moving quickly and it’s everywhere’

Some are comparing it to a forest fire.

The spread of the emerald ash borer, responsible for the death of millions of ash trees in the Midwest, is moving about 40 times faster than it was several years ago, local experts said.

Joe Boggs hasn’t seen the view of Greater Cincinnati from an airplane, but he’s sure there’d be a noticeable trail of destruction.

“You drive up and down Interstate 75 and people can see dead trees to the east and west,” said Boggs, assistant professor with Ohio State University Extension and the OSU Department of Entomology based in Hamilton County.

“Our infestations are moving pretty fast.”

Since the first beetles were found locally in Warren County in 2006, they have now infiltrated all seven local counties in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky: Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren in Ohio, and Boone, Campbell and Kenton in Kentucky.

Five years ago, the spread of the ash borers moved about a quarter- to a half-mile a year, Boggs said.

Today, he estimates they are moving about 20 miles per year.

Some of the worst areas include Anderson Township and Monroe, two communities that marked the first sightings for Hamilton and Butler counties.

Local governments are trying everything possible to control the invasive beetles, which were first discovered in Detroit in 2002. The most common treatments these days are soil or trunk injections, using insecticides to kill the ash borers. The most recent idea came earlier this month when officials in Wisconsin released a Chinese wasp they think may kill the China-native beetles. Ohio State University researchers have contacted local officials, scoping out suitable places in Greater Cincinnati to test the bug-eat-bug method.

Boggs isn’t sure when the wasps, which he calls “bio-allies,” may be released in Greater Cincinnati. If the method proves to be effective, it probably won’t wipe out the beetles, he said. Still, it might reduce the population to a more manageable level.

There are three species of wasp that were found in China that naturally prey on the emerald ash borers. Boggs said two of them use stingers to lay eggs inside ash borer larvae that feed on and kill them. The third does the same, but targets ash borers’ eggs.

“Researchers are still trying to learn how this works. Number one, the wasps are hard to raise, so it takes time to figure out if we can raise enough to release them,” Boggs said. “The second is, once they’re released, how long does it take?”

Meanwhile, Cincinnati is one of 12 communities in the country receiving free soil injections through the Legacy Tree Project. A chemical company called Valent provides the treatment at no cost for five years.

A total of 110 ash trees in Mount Echo, Mount Airy and Ault Park were enrolled last year. Other communities to use the program include Wyoming in Hamilton County, Indianapolis and another small community in Indiana, one in Wisconsin and seven in the Chicago area.

David Gamstetter, natural-resource manager for the Cincinnati Park Board, says the city’s 5,000 native ash trees make up about 10 percent of the trees in city parks and of those, about 1,000 have been removed.

Although the tree injections are not a long-term solution, it buys time for his department to find a better solution.

“These beetles are unstoppable,” Gamstetter said. “It’s moving quickly and it’s everywhere.”

In 2009, Springdale was the first local municipality to use a trunk injection, shelling out nearly $10,000 to treat 250 trees. The need for treatment has become so high, the company that served Springdale, Back Tree & Landscape, set record profits from fertilizing and injecting ash trees.

When the beetles move in, trees typically die within five years of infestation. These days, Boggs has seen some green, healthy trees become brittle shells in as little as a year.

“When there’s a forest fire, it starts in one place and kind of sits there burning,” Boggs said. “But as it gets larger, it starts moving faster. That’s kind of where we’re at.”

Officials are reminding residents to inspect their ash trees and look for infestation. If found early enough, many trees can be saved.

Some remain optimistic because trends suggest that once the ash borers have caused enough damage in a region, they may move out in search of better pastures.

Some researchers, looking at tree rings from Detroit, believe they may have arrived about 20 years before they were noticed in 2002.

Meanwhile, officials in Ohio announced last week that another tree-killing bug had been discovered in Clermont County. The Asian long-horned beetle can kill several types of trees, including the state’s signature buckeye tree, and sparked a quarantine expected to soon include all of Tate Township and East Fork State Park. (That means it would be illegal to take any hardwood out of those areas.)

“The one thing the emerald ash borer has taught us is to be constantly vigilant for non-native pests,” Boggs said. “I wish more than anything else in my career that someone would’ve figured this out years and years ago.”

For more information on emerald ash borers, contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture or visit www.agri.ohio.gov

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This is without question one of the largest ash trees in existance.  This tree is 52 inches in diameter, and as can be seen in the picture below, it provides the foundation to quite a large tree house.  It also dwarfs the team member who is treating the tree.

Giant Ash Tree with Tree House

Big Ash Tree in Highland County, OH

After Vertical Mulching and Fertilizing, the giant ash tree was treated with ArborJet’s TREE-age formulation to protect it against attack by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

In the first picture you can see the team member in the process of Vertical Mulching and Fertilizing.  Vertical Muching and Fertilizing is recommend as an ongoing holistic tree health, especially in Ohio where the clay soil gets compacted and negatively impacts tree health.

Vertical Mulching is done with a pneumatic tool that bores a hole about the diameter of a golf ball, and one to one and a half feet  deep, into the ground.  Unlike other methods, this does not drill a hole that may damage the roots but uses air to simply blow the hole into the ground.   The pneumatic tool generates so much pressure that it fractures the compacted clay soil, and you can actually see the ground lift up several inches.

The holes are blown into the compacted clay soil in a radial pattern away from the trunk  like the spokes on a wheel.  And the holes extend out past the drip line.

After the holes are created they are filled with a special time release fertilizer that continues to nourish the tree’s root system over time.

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The Northwest Press recently featured Tim Back as a guest columnist.  He wrote about hope for saving ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer in the Greater Cincinnati area.

The Northwest Press serves these Cincinnati communities: Colerain Township, Green Township, Groesbeck, Montford Heights, Pleasant Run, Seven Hills and White Oak

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It is commonly known that the Emerald Ash Borer will kill Ash trees in Cincinnati.  But what is not known is there are treatments that can save those trees!

Example of Mariemont: the city was given bad advice and used a formulation that was not professional strength.  They cut down the trees without fighting for them.  A second opinion and the right treatment might have saved those trees.

Blaming nature is no substitute for due diligence.

Where Today’s EAB Mindset Comes From

The mindset in Cincinnati, with respect to the Emerald Ash Borer, stems from influential people that preached the message “your ash trees are doomed.”

On October 29, 2006 the Cincinnati Enquirer published an article “Trees Losing the Fight Against Ash Borers”. Recent, rapid advances in treatment technology have proven these perceptions to be inaccurate today.

Here are the four main points from that article…

1.  “Ash trees… doomed to death from attacks by the emerald ash borer. Some say it will be within the next year; others predict the destruction over the next five to 10 years.”

2.  “…we have little data to suggest that continual, annual applications will keep borers out of any specific ash tree.”

3.  “The best treatments are not 100 percent effective and, eventually, the insects will infest a treated tree and kill it.”

4.  “seek a written guarantee… there are no guarantees.”

None of these are true today, yet but many people still choose to believe them.

In the white paper “Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer,” scientists from five universities identify provide ample data that treatments based on Emmectin Benzoate, such as TREE-äge, have proven 100% effective for a period of at least two years.

And the fourth point is also not true today.  Back Tree Service is one local tree care company that has a 100% guarantee if their proven system of holistic care and treatment is used.

There are two basic steps to Back Tree Service’s holistic treatment system.  The first is injection of the TREE-age formulation into the trunk of the ash tree using the ArborJet system.  The second step is fertilizing and soil remediation.

Soil remediation is done by using a special Pneumatic Vertical Mulching tool that breaks up and aerates Ohio’s heavy clay soil.  A time released fertilizer is then added to the root system.  This combination increases tree health, a critical step in protecting trees against infestations such as the Emerald Ash Borer.

The result of these two steps is a healthy tree inoculated against Emerald Ash Borer, and other insects as well, including the next insect to hit the tri-state.

Another major misconception is that treating ash trees costs too much compared to removal and replacement.

How can a two inch diameter tree be considered a replacement for a heritage tree that may have been growing for over 100 years?  There is no replacement for heritage trees.

The State of Ohio conducted a study in 2006, The Potential Economic Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer. They found that the average ash tree was 12.4” in diameter.  Including landscape value, removal and replacement, their findings indicate that the total average cost would be $1,772 to the home owner per average tree.

But with today’s proven TREE-äge formulation, that 12.4” diameter tree could be treated for only $149.

Those who want to rip-and-replace justify their actions by saying that the treatment needs to be repeated every two years.  Do the math.  Treatment is way better on cash flow than replacement.

And what about when the next infestation comes, will they rip-and-replace the replacement tree as well?

In the 1950’s and 60’s Dutch elm disease, a disease carried by insects, caused thousands of elm trees to be destroyed.  And today the Emerald Ash Borer is the next cycle of attack on trees.  If we destroy and replace trees, every time there’s a threat, and choose not to treat them, then what is the true cost over time?  What are we leaving for our grandchildren?

It’s time to protect our trees and stop this cycle of destruction!

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