A scourge is marching its way across the country, a tree-killing machine that is decimating swaths of native trees in North Carolina and beyond. Vast tracts dead trees are constant reminders that the emerald ash borer has been introduced into the area. But what is this invasive bug that has everyone in a frenzy? To put it bluntly, it is an unwanted visitor and must be destroyed. Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic, but emerald ash borers, if allowed to spread, could possibly be the cause of ash trees of all types to be wiped out in America. This would be catastrophic to the landscape of our most beautiful spaces and recovery could take generations. Tree Tech Tree Services is committed to preserving the trees of Mooresville and keeping the local trees healthy.
What Is The Ash Borer?
The Emerald Ash Borer is a small beetle that has a striking green/bronze body and a healthy appetite for ash trees when in the larval stage. The native land of the ash borer is Eastern Asia and they have begun to creep their way across the globe. In its original habitat, the ash borer is not as hard on its native trees as it is in North America. Apparently in its native land the ash borer has natural predators, different ash species and more natural population controls. When they were introduced into North America, the conditions were perfect for the bug to wreak havoc on the trees of our country.
It is speculated that the ash borer was introduced in the northeast part of the continent through shipping containers. Of course that is only speculation and for all we know, they were introduced through an off-course meteor. Regardless, the circumstances of the introduction, the ash borer quickly made a name for itself in our country. The infestation began in eastern Canada and immediately spread south and west. In only 15 years, its range has become so widespread that it can be assumed that every state east of the continental divide has at least some ash borer activity. The introduction of non-native invasive species has long been a part of the reality of our planet. During the Columbian exchange that occurred soon after Christopher Columbus began bringing back species from the New World; the most destructive, however, was the smallpox that the explorers brought to the New World with them. Items like tomatoes were never available in Europe until they were discovered in America and brought overseas. The native populations were decimated and sadly, never fully recovered. This is what the invasive emerald ash borer can do to to the ash trees of our country if we don’t do something now.
What Damage Do They Do?
An ash borer uses the tree as a nursery. They lay their eggs on the bark of an ash tree and the hatchlings chew their way into the tree. Once inside, the larva eat the wood before eventually reaching maturity. At which point they chew through the bark and the cycle begins all over again. The entire cycle can take up to two years but generally the longer period takes place in very cold climates. The ash borer creates a network of tunnels in the wood under the bark and kills the tree by taking away the tree’s ability to feed itself.
What Can You Do?
Basically the emerald ash borer is marching across the country and will be widespread within the next decade. There are many things that managing agencies have been toying with to reduce or stop the spread of the emerald ash borer. Even though they were discovered in the 19th century, not much was known about the pest until it became an issue. Since the early 2000s the knowledge base of the bugs has increased drastically, and much more is known about predators and ways of control. The ash borer has a few natural predators but at this point, they are primarily located in the native ecosystem of the ash borer. A few types of wasps are the main predator for the borer but releasing them has been slow, as any introduction of a non-native species can have unexpected consequences. The main form of control has been a quarantine. Pretty much the entire U.S. east of the Missouri river is quarantined against the removal of any kind of wood from the quarantine area. This seems to be helping the problem but very little is slowing the spread of the ash borer. A major way to deter the ash borer is to have healthy trees, as they tend to prefer weak or diseased trees. The experts at Tree Tech Tree Service are equipped and ready to keep your ash trees healthy and happy as a deterrent to the emerald ash borer. If you suspect an ash borer infestation in your tree, please give us a call so we can assess the situation and implement a game plan. We care about your trees and our neighbors, please contact us for any questions you may have about your trees. From tree removal to trimming and even tree repair following a storm, Tree Tech is your local tree experts.