Fairway Green, Inc
9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14 Hillsborough, NJ 08844
Phone: (908) 281-7888

Emerald Ash Borer Damage and Control

The concern for Emerald Ash Borer damage has been on the rise in New Jersey, especially now that many homeowners are seeing the impact to their trees first hand.  The damage is fairly easy to spot and quite noticeable this time of year as the infested ash trees will have significant leaf loss and thin canopies when compared to other species of trees you may have in the yard.  Left untreated, Emerald Ash Borers can kill your ash trees in as little as two to four years from the initial infestation.  Given the volume of calls received related to Emerald Ash Borer damage, we put together this blog article to address some of the most common questions from concerned homeowners in our service area. 

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Background

The Emerald Ash Borer is a beetle that most likely came to the U.S. on wood packaging material shipped from Asia.  It is responsible for the death of over 100 million ash trees in the United States and has been positively identified in New Jersey by the state Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Protection.

Identification of Ash trees

In order to determine if your trees are susceptible to Emerald Ash Borer damage, you need to find out if you have any ash trees on the property.  Identifying ash trees can be done by analyzing the bark, branch, and leaf patterns.  Below you will find descriptions and pictures of common ash tree characteristics.  If your tree matches all three characteristics described below, there’s a very good chance it’s an ash tree.

Bark – The bark of mature ash trees have deep ridges; these ridges can form a pattern that is often described as being in the shape of a diamond.

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Branch Pattern – Branches on ash trees typically grow in pairs that are directly opposite of each other and not staggered.  The red lines in the photo directly below help demonstrate the branches growing directly opposite of each other.

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Leaf Pattern – Ash trees have compound leaves which typically have 5 – 9 leaflets.  All but one of the leaflets will be on opposite sides of the central stem.  The final leaflet will be located on the very end of the central stem.

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Signs of Emerald Ash Borer damage

The beetle larvae feed on the inner bark portion of the tree which ultimately reduces the tree’s ability to move water and nutrients to the damaged areas.  The first signs of damage will occur near the outer layers of the canopy.  These layers will begin to thin out and die due to prolonged periods without sufficient nutrients.  In addition to the thinning of the canopy, you may also see new branches and leaves sprouting near the base of the trunk.

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Treatment of Emerald Ash Borer damage

We have a two-year program to treat ash trees for Emerald Ash Borer damage.  In year one, we inject a product called TREE-äge that is manufactured by Arborjet.  In several intensive studies conducted by Michigan State and Ohio State Universities, researchers found a single injection of emamectin benzoate (the ingredient found in TREE-äge) provided excellent control of EAB for two years, even when EAB densities were high.  In year two, we combine a complete fertilizer with an organic soil conditioner and apply that to the soil surrounding the tree.  Together they are designed to increase plant vitality and improve poor soil conditions.

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If your ash trees are currently looking healthy, it is recommended to treat them as a preventative measure to stop Emerald Ash Borer damage before it takes place.  If your trees are starting to show signs of damage, it is important to have your trees treated before the damage becomes extensive and beyond the point of repair.

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If you have any questions or are located within our service area and would like us to provide a free evaluation and estimate, please contact our office or submit an estimate request from our website.

9 Ilene Ct, Suite 14, Hillsborough, NJ 08844 United States | (908) 281-7888
Phone: (908) 281-7888