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What the heck is an Emerald Ash Borer?
The emerald ash borer (E.A.B.) is a native beetle to Asia. It was bought to the states and Canada on a cargo ship that made its way down the St. Lawrence river into Michigan in 2002. Since then, E.A.B has been infesting and killing native Ash trees throughout the mid-west and quickly making its way east. As of 2014, E.A.B had been confirmed in Somerset county, NJ and is suspected to be already throughout north NJ.
Identification and Life Cycle
            Adult E.A.B are very small metallic green beetles that are almost invisible to the untrained eye. They are roughly a half-inch long, and an eighth inch wide. Adult beetles lay their eggs on the bark of ash trees. After they hatch in late May, larva bore into the cambium of the tree. E.A.B larva are roughly an inch long, and have a one-two year life cycle which causes rapid infestations. Larva emergence leaves small D-shaped exit holes as indicators.
Devastation and Signs
            E.A.B is now being considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America. The beetles not only attack stressed ash trees, but also can kill a healthy ash in 3 to 4 years. At this point, any untreated ash are susceptible to this pest. Signs that E.A.B has already begun infesting your tree include canopy dieback, and sucker growth at the base of the tree. D-shaped exit holes can also be seen with a magnifying hand lens.
            Luckily here in NJ, infestation has only just begun and there is time to act. Systemic treatments can be made annually and are the best chance for E.A.B prevention. Once high levels of the pest are detected in your area, root flair injections become necessary in order to fend off the beetle.  Once dieback from E.A.B has reached levels of roughly 30%, treatments become less likely to work and total tree death is to be expected. Your time may be running out. Call your local Pristine Team today discuss options available for your protection