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Dreaded, Costly Emerald Ash Borer Sightings Across Southern Connecticut

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small, glitter-green insect that has killed more than 50 million ash trees since it was first detected in Michigan in 2002. This invasive Asian insect is wreaking havoc on ash trees by feeding on tissue just below the bark, and in the past weeks, has been discovered in Hamden and Fairfield counties. The feeding disrupts the tree's ability to transport water & nutrients, eventually killing it.

 Ash trees make up an estimated 35% of suburban communities because they are an inexpensive, fast-growing, large-canopied option. Without preventative care, homeowners and municipalities will need to cut trees down to avoid a public safety problem.

Aren’t sure how to identify Ash trees? 

·Look at the bark- Ash trees have a diamond pattern in the bark.

·Look at the leaves- Ash leaves have 5-9 slender stand-alone leaves on each leaf stem.

·Look at the branches-Ash trees are commonly symmetrical and branches will be paired with another branch on the opposite side of the tree.

 The symptoms are clear; look for excessive woodpecker activity and missing buds on the outer limbs of the trees.  Other symptoms to check for:

·Chewing damage on foliage edges

·D-shaped holes chewed through the bark by emerging adults

·Bark splitting or S-shaped tunnels beneath the bark

· Canopy dieback that typically begins in the top one-third of the canopy

·Multiple sprouts of new growth at the trunk.

Adult emerald ash borers are most active during the late summer, fall and winter months, tunneling deep into the trees they infest.  EAB are hard to spot, the larvae are cream-colored and approximately 1 1/4 inches long. Adults are small, metallic green beetles that are 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide (smaller than a penny). EAB has been spotted from Kansas to Connecticut and from Quebec to North Carolina.

 Ash tree conservation efforts are stronger than ever, and multiple treatment options are available to help protect your trees from EAB.  It’s possible to inspect ash trees in and around your home for signs of borers and report it.  The best place to start is with a free EAB consultation to determine if EAB is present and the treatment options that are available. Treating the tree is a much less expensive option. Homeowners should also diversify plantings.  Plant different varieties of trees in and around the property therefore if one species suffers from disease, your entire forest won’t be wiped out. 

 Additionally, call The Care Of Trees for plant health care advice today.

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