If you have an ash tree in your yard, you may have noticed that it does not appear as healthy as it did before. If you are concerned that the tree is infested with the insect that has killed about 8 billion trees in North America, look for the following signs that it may have an emerald ash borer infestation:
Sprouts Growing at the Base of the Trunk
One of the signs that your tree has become infected with the larvae of the emerald ash borer is the presence of new sprouts growing at the base of the tree's trunk. Because the larvae burrow into the trunk and feed off the tree's nutrients, new growth becomes nearly impossible above the colony.
However, your tree will still try to create new growth wherever it is able. So, it will start sprouting new branches below the larvae, usually at the base of the tree. However, since this type of new growth could have other causes, continue to the other sections to look for further signs.
Bark in the Trunk Has Multiple Vertical Splits
Another indication that emerald ash borers have infested your tree is the presence of vertical splits in the bark of the trunk. These splits typically form wherever a larvae nest is found.
While one or two splits can be caused by other factors, multiple ones in your tree's bark is a sign that the larvae have burrowed into the trunk's wood. If you pry off the bark, you will be able to see S-shaped channels in the wood called galleries where you will usually find the larvae.
Holes in the Trunk Shaped Like a "D"
As the emerald ash borer infestation progresses, another sign you will most likely see will present as holes in the trunk that are shaped like capital Ds. These emergence holes serve as the exit point for the adult borers after the larvae have pupated.
If you start seeing these D-shaped holes, there is a possibility that the adults have flown to nearby ash trees to start a new colony. Any other trees in your yard or on your neighbors' property should be checked by a professional to help reduce the tree-killing infestation from spreading further.
If you notice any of the above signs, the ash tree in your yard may be infected with the emerald ash borer. Contact a professional tree service to have them send someone out to examine the tree and remove it before the insects have a chance to infect other ash trees in the area.
Contact a company like Beny's Tree Service for more information and assistance.