Nature works hard to protect itself. Trees have natural defense systems to protect themselves from disease or insect damage. Sometimes though, a species of insects is introduced that trees have no way of defending themselves against. In 2001 in Detroit, Michigan the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was introduced from some shipping material from Asia. Since then, it has spread north to Canada, south to Louisiana and west to Colorado, killing millions of trees in the process. The EAB attacks ash trees with little evidence at first, then over the course of the next 2-3 years the tree starts to show signs of decline. At this point it is too late for the tree to be saved and sadly must be cut down.
What does this mean for you? The USDA has worked hard to quarantine wood to states infected by EAB. North Carolina was added to the quarantine list in September of 2015. Many scientists are doing studies to find natural and man-made ways to combat the invasive insect. Signs of EAB infestation may be yellowing leaves, dead branches at the top of the tree, and sucker growth from the base of the tree. The best way to keep your trees safe is to prevent them from attacking the tree at all.
Call your Arborist today if you feel you may have any of these symptoms in your landscape!