This image (at left), shows a cutaway of an ash tree with a section of bark removed, and is an excellent example of the damage an insect called "emerald ash borer" can do to your ash tree. This insect, a native to Asia, most likely arrived in the U.S. from packing crates. It has remorselessly spread across the country, and is a major concern for Lake County, IL. In September 2011, experts released swarms of predator wasps to hunt down and devour the ash borer.
What They Do
The adult beetles are metallic green, 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. These beetles leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark when they emerge from your ash tree from May through July.
The adults live for two to three weeks, but unfortunately, before their demise they mate and leave eggs in bark crevices of ash trees. These eggs will hatch within seven to 10 days and promptly begin destroying your tree.
After hatching, the larvae tunnel under the bark creating S-shaped tunnels or galleries (see image, above). These galleries cut off the flow of water and nutrients to the tree, eventually causing death. Woodpeckers eat the larvae, and heavy woodpecker damage on ash trees can be a sign of infestation.
What You Should Do:
It is always better to be proactive, rather than reactive. If you have your ash trees treated before you notice signs of infestation your tree will have a much better chance of survival. However, if you notice any if these symptoms on your ash trees now, give Welle Tree Care a call. We have the experience and the credentials to give you sound, reasonable advice on your problem.