The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived in Central VA, see below for the press release from Virginia Dept. of Forestry. If you have Ash trees and are interested in learning more about treatment and preservation contact our in-house plant health care specialist, Kent Barton, at 434-996-3972.
Virginia Department of Forestry Press Release:
Emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that targets and kills ash trees, has made its way to Charlottesville and Albemarle County, and the Virginia Department of Forestry wants to alert residents about the threat to their ash trees.
While the emerald ash borer was first discovered in Northern Virginia in 2008, it wasn’t until just recently that its damage became obvious in central Virginia. Before dead or dying ash trees become commonplace in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, landowners have a small window of opportunity to effectively treat their ash trees with systemic insecticides.
“We recommend either a stem injection or a soil drench,” said Lori Chamberlin, forest health manager at the Virginia Department of Forestry. “But the time to do this is now, because once an ash tree has lost more than 30 percent of its canopy, it’s too late to save the tree.”
Chamberlin recommends that landowners contact a certified arborist (http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx) to discuss the treatment options, their costs and the timing of these treatments.
“Adult ash borers are metallic green beetles that can be seen flying around the tops of ash trees in late spring and early summer,” Chamberlin said.
“These beetles lay eggs on ash bark, and the larvae that hatch tunnel into the tree and feed under the bark. This disrupts the flow of water and nutrients within the tree – effectively choking it to death.”
No ash tree native to Virginia is resistant to the emerald ash borer, according to Chamberlin. And, unless they are treated before or very early in the infestation, all ash trees that are infested will eventually die.
“With EAB quickly spreading throughout the state (it’s been documented in more than 50 Virginia counties now), it would be wise to begin EAB treatment before you start seeing signs of decline, Chamberlin said. “If the trees are not able to be saved and they have the potential to cause property damage if they fall, the ash trees should be removed by a certified arborist.”
Chemical treatment is effective and most appropriate for high-value landscape trees. Unfortunately, treatment is not normally effective in a forest setting.
According to forest survey data, ash makes up approximately two percent of Virginia’s forests. However, it can comprise a significant portion of individual forest stands, especially in riparian and mountainous areas.
If you own forestland with a large component of commercially valuable ash, the VDOF recommends discussing your forest management options with a professional forester. Options may range from conducting a silvicultural harvest to doing nothing and leaving the dying/dead trees as wildlife habitat.
Additional information about professional consulting foresters working in the Commonwealth can be found at http://dof.virginia.gov/manage/harvest/timber-selling.htm and http://www.eforester.org/Main/Certification/Why_Hire_a_Certified_Professional.aspx .
To learn more about EAB insecticides, visit: www.emeraldashborer.info/documents/Multistate_EAB_Insecticide_Fact_Sheet.pdf a