Emerald ash borer coming to Charlottesville

emerald ash borerThe Emerald ash borer, or Agrilus planipennis is an invasive insect from Siberia that will damage and is expected to kill all untreated ash trees in our region in 1-3 years.

This pest has been found in Albemarle County as of last year. These metallic green insects (Photo B) emerge May-August in our region. Once the adults breed, the eggs are then laid on the bark and once the insects hatch, they burrow under the bark.

As the larvae feed they create serpentine galleries (Photo C) that disrupt the flow of food and water in the tree. Some of their telltale signs are the “D” shaped exit holes the adults leave on the tree (Photo D) and the bark blonding caused by woodpeckers feeding on an EAB infestation (Photo A).

The first step is to identify if you indeed have an ash tree or fringe tree on your property. All ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) and the less common American fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) are susceptible.

If you would like to save your ash trees, please contact a local ISA certified Arborist that provides plant health care services. The most effective treatment currently is the tree injection of emamectin benzoate which is viable for two years.

The Virginia Dept. of Forestry is currently offering a grant to help supplement the expenses for emerald ash borer treatments which can be found here: www.dof.virginia.gov/health/EABCostShare_Descriptionof_Application.pdf.


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