Deadly Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Shaker Heights

The adult stage of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This is the mobile stage (it flies), the one which initially infests a tree by laying eggs in the bark crevices between mid-May to mid-August. The bright, metallic green adult is 1/2 inch long, has a flattened back, and purple abdominal segments beneath wing covers.

Last Friday (July 9, 2010), a Forest City Tree Protection crew identified our 1st confirmed case of an ash tree killed by the Emerald Ash Borer insect (EAB) in the City of Shaker Heights.  While removing a dead ash tree on a client’s property, the crew found the typical serpentine (S-shaped) feeding galleries created by the EAB larvae.  After EAB eggs hatch, the young larvae chew their way through the bark into the cambium, or growing layer of the tree trunk.  As the larvae mature, they continue feeding the the xylem tissue of the most recent annual ring.  This is the tissue the tree uses to translocate water & elements upward from the roots and sugars & starches made in the leaves down to the roots.  The larval feeding galleries weave back and forth across the woodgrain, disupting the movement of water, elements, starches, & sugars.  This in turn leads to the rapid demise and death of the ash tree.

When the EAB larvae mature and transform, the adults emerge through D-shaped exit holes in the bark, starting the life cycle all over again.  Noticing one of these D-shaped holes on the bark of a lower trunk section from the ash tree they had removed, our crew peeled away the bark, finding a large, mature EAB larvae and its S-shaped (serpentine) feeding galleries.

Pulling back the bark from the D-shaped exit hole, the crew found this well-fed and destructive European Ash Borer larva. (photo by Lauren Lanphear 07/09010)

Peeling away the bark on a section of trunk from ash tree we removed in Shaker Heights, the crew disovered the telltale serpentine feeding galleries of the European Ash Borer larvae. The tissue destroyed by the formation of these feeding galleries leads to a quck decline & death of the tree. (photo by Lauren Lanphear 07/09/10)

We brought the section of trunk back to our office where we could photograph the larva and its feeding galleries. We were able to extract the EAB larva from the trunk and get this picture.

We sent the above three (3) photographs to several entomologists with the Ohio State University and received confirmation of our diagnosis.

Once an ash tree is infested with EAB, the only option is removal.  However, there are highly-effective treatment options to protect healthy ash trees from attack by the EAB.

We will be applying insect control soil injections this fall (Sept) to protect ash trees from EAB next season (2011).  The average cost of an EAB protective treatment is $5.75 per inch of trunk diameter (across, not around).

If you have one or more ash trees on your property that you’d like to protect, call our office ASAP (216-381-1700) to have one of our ISA Certified Arborists inspect your tree(s) and provide a proposal.

‘Helpful Links:
Emerald Ash Borer Lifecycle
Signs & Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer

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