Early detection is key to protecting ash trees. Using special equipment to detect early signs of the beetle’s presence, our specialists can help homeowners treat and protect ash trees on their property.
Memphis, TN (Vocus) April 6, 2010
Baseball bats made from the impact-resistant wood of America’s ash trees are the equipment of choice at thousands of ball fields across the United States. But thanks to the handiwork of the emerald ash borer, says TruGreen, the world's largest lawn and landscape company, the trees that produce durable wood used for baseball bats and other wooden products may be heading for a serious slump.
First detected in Michigan in 2002, the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, likely traveled to the United States via solid wood packing materials on cargo ships or airplanes that originated in the insect’s native Asia. Since that time, the beetle has killed millions of ash trees throughout the United States and Canada. The dark metallic green bugs warm up in early spring for a baseball-season long chomp across Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec.
The adult beetles feed on the leaves of the ash trees, causing little damage. However, the larvae, or immature stage, insects feed on the inner bark of the tree, disrupting the system that carries water and nutrients to the branches and leaves. The insects work quickly, and within two years of an infestation, most of the tree’s canopy can die due to lack of nourishment.
“Early detection is key to protecting ash trees,” said Ben Hamza, Ph.D., director of technical operations at TruGreen. “Using special equipment to detect early signs of the beetle’s presence, our specialists can help homeowners treat and protect ash trees on their property. Professional help is needed because it is often difficult for homeowners to identify early stages of an infestation. By the time the physical symptoms become obvious, it is often too late to save the trees.”
Adult beetles create ‘D’-shaped exit holes in the bark when they emerge, but these exit holes are difficult to see. In an effort to help contain the insect, Hamza said TruGreen branches in infested areas offer homeowners a free evaluation to determine if an infestation exists.
If a tree is infested, technicians treat it using a direct, trunk-injection method that moves the control product through the tree’s vascular system, saving susceptible trees without harming the tree or any other plant life nearby. Backed by university research, this treatment method provides quick results in protecting trees from the emerald ash borer.
Non-infested trees in areas known for insect activity can also greatly benefit from the treatment as it will effectively prevent any initial damage from taking place.
Hamza says the time to act is now. Adult beetles emerge in mid- to late-May through late June. Females generally lay eggs about two weeks after emergence, and the eggs hatch two weeks later. Soon after hatching, the larvae begin boring through the bark, disrupting the tree’s nutrient system by feeding under the bark from about late July through World Series time in October.
TruGreen® is the world's largest lawn and landscape company, serving more than 3.4 million residential and commercial customers across the United States with lawn care, tree and shrub care, and landscaping services. As the current industry leader, TruGreen continues to pioneer the development of new technology for lawn care, and devotes substantial resources to continually evaluate new products and equipment. TruGreen is a member of the ServiceMaster Family of Brands, which also includes TruGreen LandCare®, Terminix®, American Home Shield®, InStar®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic®, and AmeriSpec®. For more information, go to http://www.servicemaster.com.
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