Questions – Emerald Ash Borer in Kentucky

Questions about emerald ash borers in Kentucky

All species of ash  in landscapes, forests, and woodlots in eastern North America are susceptible to attack by the emerald ash borer. Females might favor to lay eggs on stressed trees but healthy ones also can be infested. Host size doesn’t seem to be a limitation either, larval galleries have already been discovered in trees or branches as little as 1 inch in diameter.

What does the EAB do to ash trees?

As they feed below the bark, EAB larvae destroy the tree’s water and nutrient conducting tissue. This reduces water and nutrient flow to the canopy and causes thinning above infested portions of the trunk and significant branches. Dieback in heavily infested trees usually starts at the top with one-third to one-half of the branches dying in one year; the majority of the canopy will die within two years of the initial appearance of signs and symptoms.

What are signs of an EAB infestation?

The following common characteristics may be brought on by EAB, other borers, stress, or physical injury:

Thinning of canopy
D-shaped 1/8″ exit holes in the bark
Serpentine-shaped tunnels below bark
Young sprout growth at base of tree
Woodpecker activity
Vertical splits in bark

How do infestations spread?

Regular flight spread of the EAB is between one-half to two miles a year so natural spread tends to become relatively slow. Unfortunately, movement of infested ash wood can result in jumps of hundreds of miles. Firewood has been a significant means of transporting EAB, particularly by hunters and campers. Slowing the spread can buy time to create and implement management plans according to ash components of wooded areas and to take advantage of strategies that might be created through the current research.

Will be the EAB be simple to recognize?

Adults are distinctive dark metallic green beetles that are about 1/2 inches long and about 1/8 inch wide. They may be found resting or feeding on ash leaves during May and June. They emerge through distinct D-shaped holes within the bark. The larvae may be discovered tunneling below bark from July thru October. Thankfully, they’re fairly easy to distinguish from native ash borers.

Do insects other than the EAB live in ash?

Yes, the larvae of a number of beetles and moths may be found in forest and landscape ash all through the state. The redheaded ash borer (a round-headed wood borer) and the ash borer (a caterpillar) are most common. Don’t hesitate to bring any specimens from ash to Bob Ray Co for identification. Private individuals are frequently the first to notice a brand new organism in an region and the EAB is too important to overlook.

 

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