There is a lot to be concerned about when it comes to our natural world. With shifting climates, we are seeing more natural species and vegetation being lost. There is another natural disaster happening, though, to our trees. In Pennsylvania, we are so fortunate to be home to big, beautiful trees of many different species that tower over the land. What if one day those trees were gone?
Where Have All the Ash Trees Gone
There is something called the Emerald Ash Bore, a small, metallic green beetle, that has killed off most of the Ash Trees in Pennsylvania. The Emerald Ash Bore, while their name doesn’t reflect their viciousness, were first discovered in North America in 2002. Since then, it has killed 60 million Ash Trees nationwide. In Pennsylvania, we have a healthy population of Ash Trees – numbering over 300 million – but this number is drastically decreasing by the day. Since 2014, the Ash Tree population has been reduced by 14%.
How to Save Your Ash Trees
Not only should we be concerned about our forests in PA and around the country, but homeowners need to take extra steps to protect their ash trees.
Identify the Affected Trees
If you have ash trees on your property, you can tell if they have been affected by the Emerald Ash Bore by the discoloration of the tree bark. This bark will flake off in considerable amounts to show reveal a much lighter color underneath. If you look closely, you can see the bore holes themselves!
Generally, you will want to remove the dead trees before they fall and create damage to your property. Once the ash tree is infected, it should be removed to eliminate the threat of the tree falling and causing damage to your property or hurting someone.
There are chemical treatments available for affected ash trees, but once a tree has evidence of this beetle, the treatment doesn’t work very often. Only healthy, unaffected ash trees should be considered for treatment like insecticides – as beetles can decimate tree populations within 5 years once they start. Most treatments need to be applied every year and can become very costly.
Don’t Wait to Remove
Ash trees can grow to be very large (some as tall as 80 feet). It is crucial to be alert when it comes to the health of your trees. Once affected by the Emerald Ash Bore, the integrity of the tree is compromised and it can take very little to tip these trees over or break them in half. If you have trees on your property that are sick or dead, please contact the team at Mr. Tree right away so we can safely remove them. If you catch it quickly, it may help prevent other trees on your property and in the area from becoming affected.