Protecting Trees from the Emerald Ash Borer

by WHIZ Reporter on June 6, 2012 at 6:30 am

A local tree expert wants you to be on the lookout for an insect that poses a serious threat to trees.

Last month the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence of the Emerald Ash Borer in Muskingum County

Bryan Smith of McCullough’s Tree Service said one of the most beneficial things you can do to protect trees from the Ash Borer is to determine what kind of trees are in your backyard.

"Any signs of decline, weakness, dieback or anything, give us a call. The problem is we usually don’t get the call until about 3 or 4 years later," said Smith.  "You know, they see it, and the next year it happens, and by the time I get out there, they say, "well it’s looked like this for 3 or 4 years" and a lot of times with EAB, if it’s gone on for 3 or 4 years, it starts to get too late to fix the problem."

Smith says the metallic-colored insect, which is native to Asia, was discovered in the United States in 2002.

Since then, efforts have been launched nationwide to protect Ash trees and to keep the problem from spreading.

"Here in Muskingum County for the last couple of years we’ve been dealing with preventative treatments, people who have ash trees that don’t want to lose them. I would say since 2009 we’ve been treating the trees around here," added Smith.  "Obviously it just came out Memorial Day weekend that it was finally found here in town, so we’ve been getting a lot of calls about it."

Smith said the insect burrows under the bark of the Ash tree and over time, prevents the tree from replenishing nutrients– eventually starving it to death.