Next Steps To Take After An Emerald Ash Borer Diagnosis

Emerald ash borers can plague ash trees throughout a wide range of the USA, with incidences in most of the Eastern states and some as far west as Colorado and Texas. The borer hurts trees internally, which not only disrupts their structure but can also lead to rot that compounds the damage. An infestation can often kill a tree.

However, treatments are available to kill the ash borers once they're diagnosed. Here are some next steps to take if a tree diagnosis indicates emerald ash borers.

1. Determine if the tree is treatable

The first step you need to take is to decide if the tree is really likely to be salvageable or not. If the tree is so riddled with borer tunnels and the accompanying rot that it will come crashing down in the next storm, then your tree expert is unlikely to recommend treatment. 

Your professional arborist can check how badly damaged the tree is using diagnostic tools such as tree radar. They can also look at general health indicators such as the condition of the canopy and how many branches are dead or dying.

2. Choose and schedule treatment

Some ash borer treatments are applied to tree roots, while others are applied to the trunk via a spray or injection. Different treatments are best for different situations. For instance, if you have flowering plants around the tree, you'll want to avoid root drench treatment as it could get into the flowering plants and kill pollinators. 

The best treatment for your tree may also depend on the amount of damage and the time of year. Some of the available chemicals are more effective at rescuing badly infested trees than others. And different chemicals are best applied at different times of the year; some are best when applied in early spring, while others can be effective in early to mid-summer as well. 

3. Schedule follow-up

Treatment for emerald ash borers tends isn't a one-and-done treatment. That's because a tree can live a very long time and after a year or two, it may flush most of the insecticide out of its system, making it a prime target for more ash borers. If the tree is already damaged by borers, you can't afford another infestation, so you may need to have follow-up treatments performed on a regular basis to avoid further damage.

These are the next steps you'll want to take after a confirmed diagnosis of emerald ash borers in your tree. Your certified arborist can help you navigate through these steps in an optimally efficient and effective way for the best results.