If you're like most homeowners, you really value the contribution that the trees on your property make to both the aesthetic appeal of your home and to the practical benefits they provide. Thriving, mature trees add monetary value to your home as well as provide comfortable shade for household residents, and possibly even help keep seasonal air conditioning costs down. Fortunately, all you really have to do with most large shade trees once they've become established is simply let nature take its course — large, healthy trees are powerhouses that can generally fend off a wide variety of pests and pathogens. However, there are some situations where trees need a little help if they're going to survive, and infestations of emerald ash borers are one of these situations.
Emerald ash borers are an invasive species of beetles that are native to the northern part of Asia that are now found in certain parts of North America. It was accidentally introduced at some point during the 1990s, and infestations have the potential to thoroughly decimate entire populations of ash trees because the pests lack natural predators to help keep their numbers in check. Early treatment is imperative to saving trees that have been infested — qualified arborists can often save trees using insecticide treatments.
Following are three signs that your ash tree may be experiencing the early onset of an emerald ash borer infestation.
You Notice More Woodpecker Activity
Increased woodpecker activity is probably one of the first signs that emerald ash borers have set up shop in your ash tree. Woodpeckers like dining on the larvae of these beetles, so if you notice an uptick in that telltale pecking, you should call a professional tree service to come and check out the situation.
You Notice Increased Sprouting From the Base of the Tree
Increased sprouting from the base of the tree trunk is another potential sign of emerald ash borer. It occurs as a result of the tree being stressed by the damage the insects are causing to its vascular system.
You Notice Early Color Changes in the Leaves in Autumn
Another way that the tree may try to deal with the infestation is by going into early dormancy, so if you've got ash trees on your property, be alert to any signs that the leaves are changing color earlier than usual. Although this sometimes has natural causes, such as early cold spells, it's best to err on the side of caution if you notice this happening with your ash trees.
Speak with a service that can assist you with emerald ash borer prevention and elimination for more help.