The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small insect that bores into the bark of ash trees, eventually killing the tree. It has been spreading across the eastern United States since it was first detected in Michigan in 2002. Here in Alford, we have been hoping the tiny pest would overlook our pristine forests, but unfortunately that is not the case. This winter we have the first confirmed infestation in the woods of Alford.
This time of year infected trees show a degree of “blonding” where woodpeckers have removed the outer layer of bark to reach the EAB larvae, which are devouring the cambium layer of the tree. Stripping off the bark of an infected tree shows the labyrinth of tunnels left by the hungry larvae. Only ash trees are affected.
If you have an ash near your home that you want to keep, now is the time to talk with an arborist about inoculating your tree. Treating a tree is usually much less expensive than removing a mature tree once it dies.
For more information visit this MassWoods (UMass) website: http://masswoods.org/monthly-update/emerald-ash-borer-massachusetts-what-landowners-should-know