East Bradford Township
Chester County, Pennsylvania
666 Copeland School Road  ♦  West Chester, PA 19380  ♦  610-436-5108  ♦  info@eastbradford.org

Emerald Ash Borer Advisory

Ash Trees May Be At Risk

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If you have ash trees on your property they may be at risk according to the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources and arborists. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small metallic- green beetle whose larvae feed exclusively under the bark of ash trees.  Their feeding disrupts the ability of the tree to transport water and nutrients and the tree dies within a few years once infested.

EAB arrived in the United States from its native Asia likely on cargo ships and airplanes and since its detection in Michigan in 2002 EAB has spread to more than 20 states including Pennsylvania (first detected Butler County 2007).  Estimates of 20 to 55 million ash trees have been killed by the pest in the infested areas. The potential economic damage to
property owners, nurseries and municipalities may exceed $10 Billion in 25 states expected to be affected within the next 10 years.


Ash species (Fraxinus species) comprise 3-10% of Pennsylvania forests and ash trees are a commonly planted street and landscape tree. Ash trees have branches and buds directly across from each other, compound leaves with 5-11 leaflets and the bark of mature ash trees has distinct diamond-shaped ridges. Ash trees are distinctive as not many other trees in the forest and landscape have opposite branching structures.

The symptoms an ash tree is infested with EAB are similar to symptoms caused by other ash tree pests and diseases. Therefore, a careful and knowledgeable assessment is warranted. Symptoms can be crown dieback, epicormic sprouting (occurs in stressed trees often with new vegetation unusually at the truck or base of the tree), bark splitting and / or woodpecker feeding (aka woodpecker “flecking”).

EAB has been found in the surrounding counties (Lancaster, Montgomery and Bucks) and in Maryland, New Jersey and Delaware. A 07-28-16 PA Dept. of Conservation EAB Infestation Map of Pennsylvania indicates EAB has not arrived ‘officially’ in Chester County but arborists and knowledgeable tree care and landscape professionals agree it in fact is showing symptoms of its likely presence here today.

In the next 4-8 years EAB has the potential to severely damage and destroy a significant number and percentage of ash trees in East Bradford Township (and throughout Chester County).
Borer damaged and dead ash trees not only will be an aesthetic and economic loss but the failed tree structures could pose a safety and property risk from falling limbs.

Property owners should know how to identify an ash tree and then takes steps to assess the risk to their property. Professional arborists and trained reputable tree care companies can provide recommendations to manage the risk which could include preemptive ash tree removal or pre-treatment.  Larger healthy ash trees that provide value to the landscape may be protected by insecticide injections under the bark. Removing ash trees before they become infested may save money since ash trees rapidly become brittle and unstable when they die and a crane or bucket truck may be required for removal.

See below for more information

 

Ash Tree Bark

 

Ash Tree ID Sheet - PDF

Ash Tree Decision Guide - PDF

Educate yourself about Emerald Ash Borer:

http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/insectsdisease/eab/

https://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab/index.jsp

http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

http://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/emerald-ash-borer.php

http://nyis.info

http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/eab/

https://datcpservices.wisconsin.gov/eab/article.jsp?topicid=13

 

Frequently asked questions:

The answers to the following questions were compiled from reviewing State, Federal and University websites (see list above) and several EAB management plans.  This is the most current information available and reflects the experience of communities that have already seen the damage of the EAB.

1.Which trees can and should be saved?

·    Healthy and vigorously growing trees with more than 75% of their leaves.

·   Trees located in a site that enhances the landscape and does not threaten structures,

              roads or powerlines.

·   Trees that are valuable to the owner.

·   Trees that show no signs of decay or infestation with EAB or other insects. No woodpecker

           damage or decaying trunks.

2. What is the safest and best treatment option? One of the environmentally safest and most effective treatments is injection of an insecticide under the bark. This should be done in early spring when tree is actively growing.

3.  How often should trees be treated and for how many years?  Trees should be treated every 3-4 years if using trunk injection (Treeage).  Treatments should continue until the infestation has passed (10-15 years)

4.When should treatment start? When the EAB infestation is within 10 miles of your yard.

5.How much does the treatment cost and would removing the tree save money?  Treatment costs depend on the diameter of the tree and the number of treatments.  Removal costs also depend on size of the tree and its location.

6.Should I wait to remove my ash trees? Ash trees will die within a year after EAB infests. Ash trees become very brittle when they die and tree companies will not climb them for removal if they have been dead for more than 6 months.  Depending on the situation a crane may be needed thus increasing the cost.

7.How soon before EAB is in Chester County?

EAB was detected in Lancaster County in 2015 and Montgomery County in 2014.  Most likely it will be here in the next year.

8.Will all ash trees die if they are not treated?  Yes. In Lower Michigan over 95% of non-treated ash trees have died.

9.Are property owners responsible for removal or maintenance of trees within the road right of way? Yes. For local roads owned by the Township and for private roads it is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.  For state owned roads it is the responsibility of PADOT.

10.Should I plant new trees to replace removed ash trees? Yes, trees provide many environmental benefits such as energy savings, stormwater management and animal habitats.  Removed trees should be replaced with suitable species.

 

11.Can I use the wood from fallen ash trees? Yes, but DO NOT move wood from this area.  Also never bring firewood/wood into this area, as it maybe contaminated!!!!

 

 

 

East Bradford Township  ♦  666 Copeland School Road  ♦  West Chester, PA 19380  ♦  610-436-5108  ♦  info@eastbradford.org
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