How you can fight emerald ash borer infestation

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Emerald Ash Borer photo from

If you’re trying to fight or prevent emerald ash borer infestation, your battle will be uphill at best, but there are some things you can do.

So say reps from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources during an online chat they hosted Tuesday, March 18, 2014.

The winter may have been harsh for us, but temperatures must be 38 degrees below zero, or colder – not counting wind chill – for at least two days to even begin to affect survival of the EAB.  The more days at or below that temperature, the more significant the impact on EAB.

Several participants in the DNR’s March 18, 2014 Facebook chat about EAB asked whether they could prevent infestation to save existing ash trees, and if it was even worth the expense to try.

“The success of a treatment depends on a variety of factors,” the DNR posted in response to one such question. “The first step is consulting with a local arborist to make sure that your tree is healthy enough to receive injection treatments for emerald ash borer.  If the tree is healthy enough, the injection treatments can keep it alive, but it would need to be done every year or every two years, depending on the chemical.  It’s a good option to keep the tree alive for a few years while you get a new shade tree going to replace it.”

Injections are the best treatment method, according to the DNR, because all of the chemical remains in the tree.  There are a variety of chemicals available, and the chemical you chose dictates the proper time and conditions for using it.  For more information about the types of chemicals available to help prevent EAB infestation, the DNR recommends clicking here.  Treatments are not usually recommended for trees more than 15 miles away from a known infestation.

That same link also offers a list of trees you could consider if you want to replace your ash trees.

EAB affects all varieties of ash trees, and it only affects ash trees.  EAB can travel over several miles by natural flight, but they are primarily moved when infested wood is transported by people.  That’s why quarantines include restrictions on cut wood and plants taken in and out of quarantined counties.

To find a qualified arborist and tree services in your area at this link:

For more of our coverage of the EAB infestation in Iowa and Illinois, click here.