Ozark, Mo. - As the gentle breeze carries the sweet scent of nature, our picturesque town of Ozark, Missouri, continues to thrive with its abundance of lush greenery and beautiful trees. However, hidden within the tranquil beauty of our surroundings lurks a dangerous threat that can devastate our cherished ash trees - the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Beetle.
What is the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle?
The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect species native to Asia that has wreaked havoc on ash trees across North America. These beetles are responsible for causing severe damage and ultimately killing ash trees, leading to a significant loss of our precious urban forests. (Image Credit: MDC.mo.gov)
Signs of Infestation:
Detecting an EAB infestation in its early stages is vital for preventing further spread. Here are some common signs that your ash tree may be affected:
Thinning and Dying Foliage: Leaves at the top of the tree may begin to thin out, and branches may die off.
Distinctive D-Shaped Holes: Adult EAB beetles leave D-shaped exit holes in the bark of the tree.
S-Shaped Galleries: Larvae create winding, serpentine galleries under the bark, disrupting the tree's nutrient flow.
Vertical Splits in Bark: As the infestation progresses, the bark may split vertically due to larval activity.
Epicormic Shoots: New shoots sprouting from the tree's trunk or lower branches could be a response to stress caused by EAB infestation.1
How to Test Your Trees:
To ensure the well-being of our trees and the preservation of our green canopy, it is crucial to check our ash trees regularly. You can perform a simple test to determine if your tree is infested:
1. Visual Inspection: Look for any signs of infestation as mentioned above, paying particular attention to the canopy, bark, and branches.
2. The Dime Test: Choose a spot on the bark and scrape off a small section. If you see a thin layer of green tissue just below the bark, your tree may still be healthy. However, if you find brown or dark-colored tissue, this may indicate an infestation.
If you suspect an EAB infestation or want to protect your ash trees proactively, there are treatment options available:
1. Insecticides: Some insecticides can be applied to the soil around the tree or directly to the trunk and branches to protect the tree from EAB infestations. It's essential to use the right type and follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
2. Professional Arborist Services: Consulting a certified arborist is recommended for proper diagnosis and treatment options tailored to your tree's specific needs.
Missouri Department of Conservation - Emerald Ash Borer
This website provides comprehensive information about EAB, its detection, and management.
University of Missouri Extension - Emerald Ash Borer Resources
Here, you can find resources on EAB identification, management, and treatment options.
Don't Move Firewood: Learn about the importance of not moving firewood to prevent the spread of EAB and other invasive pests.
Remember, our collective effort to protect our trees is crucial in combating the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle and preserving the natural beauty of Ozark. Stay vigilant, test your trees, and seek professional advice to keep our urban forest thriving for generations to come.