We just attended a great Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) workshop put on by Connecticut Tree Protective Association (CTPA) and the town of Southbury, CT where we met with our state experts and entomologists to review the latest information and best practices for dealing with EAB. Then we had a little field trip and visited local infested sites where we peeled the bark off to see the EAB larva.
About Emerald Ash Borer
EAB infests only ash trees. Ash makes up approximately 4% of Connecticut’s trees and up to 20% in urban areas. An EAB infestation can kill a tree in 3-5 years. In some areas where ash yellows disease is also present this can result in a huge increase the rate of mortality for ash trees.
Emerald Ash Borer has destroyed over 100 million ash trees so far and over the next several years will threaten every ash tree in the Connecticut area.
Emerald Ash Borer was first detected in Prospect, CT July 16th of 2012 and has spread quickly. Although EAB generally travels only ½ a mile per year, it is easily transported on logs and firewood from infested trees. With people moving wood around (e.g., taking firewood to your summer camp, removing dead trees from your yard) the spread of EAB is usually greatly accelerated.
EAB Firewood Quarantines in Connecticut
In efforts to limit the movement of infested ash wood, the DEEP implemented a quarantine for New Haven County so logs and/or firewood can not be transported outside of the county without meeting certain criteria (kiln dried, debarked logs, etc.) and obtaining permits. Because of recent EAB findings, the quarantine has been expanded to include New Haven, Fairfield, Litchfield and Hartford Counties.
What Connecticut is Doing to Combat EAB
Parasitic Wasps – DEEP has released parasitic wasps as a biological control at four locations in CT. These wasps attack only the EAB and can kill them quite effectively although it is still too early to know the impacts on the EAB population in Connecticut.
Increased Enforcement – DEEP has submitted changes to update the quarantine laws so that local police can implement fines on the spot for people caught moving wood, whereas now they can only write a promise to appear for court. Hopefully, this will increase police enforcement. Additionally DEEP has started to implement spot checks with DOT on certain main access ways.
EAB Traps – You might see purple square traps hanging out of trees along roadsides; we call them “Barney Traps” for the color. These traps help DEEP detect and track the EAB population as it migrates across Connecticut.
How You Can Manage EAB
The keys to managing EAB are to fully understand your options and to take a proactive approach. Now that EAB is just starting to be detected in our area, we’re doing our best to provide you with education on EAB best practices. This will help you make informed decisions that fit your budget and will benefit your trees.
The best thing you can do right away is to assess how EAB has or will impact your property. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I have any ash trees? How many do I have?
- What’s the condition of my ash trees?
- What are the associated risks?
- Should my ash trees be treated or should I plan for removal?
There are some treatments to help prevent EAB damage (we use a special systemic tree injection process) but if you have a lot of ash trees, you may want to proactively remove some of them instead. We’re happy to help you figure out the best options.
>> See our Emerald Ash Borer Treatment program.
More Information on EAB