Many individuals in the northeast have come to know an unwelcomed guest: the Emerald Ash Borer.
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is responsible for the devastation of millions of ash trees across the eastern US. This invasive insect was first discovered in Michigan in 2002. Since then EAB has been detected in at least 31 states including FORECON’s primary operating regions of New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Ash trees that have been exposed to EAB may show yellowing, wilting or thinning foliage. Prolonged exposure will eventually lead to degrading trunk integrity which may attract woodpeckers. The tree may also exhibit dead branches near the top of crown and a tree under stress may produce leafy shoots sprouting from the base of the trunk. The emerald ash borer will also leave “D” shaped exit holes in the trunk. EAB is an aggressive infestation. Affected ash trees my die within two or three years after being exposed. While the prognosis may sound bleak for our white ash trees there are conservation efforts in place to weather this infestation.
FORECON Inc. is participating in a collaborative study between the Allegheny National Forest, the USFS Northern Research Station and State and Private Forestry. The purpose of this conservation project is to study the insecticide treatment of white ash trees as a method of conserving ash trees affected by the emerald ash borer. FORECON is taking an active role in this project as a certified pesticide applicator.
In 2015 the insecticide treatment began with the goal to conserve the genetic diversity of white ash trees on the Allegheny National Forest and test the insecticides effectiveness over time in protecting the treated areas. This year FORECON will be applying insecticide treatments again. Monitoring the health of the forest over time may provide insights into the effectiveness of the treatments and how EAB moves through the landscape.