How to spot the emerald ash borer

Well-cared-for trees increases curb appeal and add up to 15 percent of value to your property.  Unfortunately, the destructive emerald ash borer is destroying millions of trees and decreasing property value.  Here’s how to spot an infestation and how to stop it.


Information Text:

Angie Hicks, Angie’s List founder:  “The Emerald Ash Borer has already killed millions of trees and homeowners are looking for ways to save their ash trees. If you act quickly you could save your trees, but don’t cave to high-pressure sales tactics.  Have your trees inspected by an arborist at least once every couple of years. What you’ll learn is what your tree should look like when at its healthiest which will help you detect potential problems so that you can take care of them as soon as they start.

Duncan Davidson, Homeowner: “We noticed that on one of the trees the leaves weren’t coming out as they normally do so we had a tree service come out and do an evaluation and they determined that the two trees were infested.”

Michael Webster, Ping’s Tree Service:  “With an ash tree they have what they call an opposite branching pattern, and that is where the twigs, most of the twigs and the leaves come out opposite from one another.  And also an Ash tree has a compound leaf which usually has a main stem throughout the leaf and will have small leaflets coming off opposite of one another.  The process of the trunk injection method is we use a trunk IV system that we put in to the trunk wood of the tree. We install some plugs that go around the base of tree near the bottom and then we imply the IV system that has a little needle that goes into the plug. Then the natural transpiration of the tree just sucks the product up throughout the tree.  The cost is strictly based on the diameter of the tree that lets us know how much we need to put in the tree. Each tree is different if you have a smaller tree it takes less product if you have a bigger tree it’s going to take more.”

Angie’s List Tips:

  • Signs of Emerald Ash Borer:

Increase in woodpeckers

Dead limbs at the top

Bark with squiggly lines

D-shaped holes

  • Treatment options:

Trunk injections

Soil injections

Cost determined by size, location and condition.

  • Check Angie's List for tree service professionals

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Rachel Hardy

Angie’s List videographer Rachel Hardy produces videos focused on home improvement tips and trends, health care issues, and pet services.

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Can you save your ash tree from emerald ash borers?


A worker with Alexander Tree Service in Lafayette, Ind. ropes a tree for removal. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Tree Service)
A worker with Alexander Tree Service in Lafayette, Ind. ropes a tree for removal. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Tree Service)

Experts say to give an ash tree emerald ash borer (EAB) treatment to prevent infestation. Emerald ash borers have infested ash trees in 20 states.

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