Emerald Ash Borer

The Maryland area has been hard hit by the nasty pest. One minute you have a tree that provides lots of quality shade for the yard or patio and when you’re not looking the tree becomes sick and thin.

The emerald ash borer is spreading fast throughout our area attacking ash trees hard. There are several species of Ash trees and the emerald ash borer likes them all!

The emerald ash borer is a beetle that is native to northern Asia and is thought to have originally traveled to the United States in shipping materials such as wooden pallets. The only known predator is the woodpecker which seems to prefer to feed on the larvae stage of the insects.

The emerald ash borer causes damage to the ash trees when it is in its larvae stage. They feed on the cambium layer of the tree which is just below the bark. It eats away creating “S” shaped patterns on the tree. This destruction of the trees cambium layer prevents nutrients and moisture and will cause the tree to lose leaves. When the larvae complete a circle around the tree it will cut off the nutrition and water from reaching the trees leaves and the tree will die.

Carefully inspect any ash trees for signs of the emerald ash borer. You will see small “D” shaped holes in the bark. The insect is bright jewel green colored. Take note if the trees leaves are thinning or falling off.  If the tree is heavily infested and you notice that 30% or more of the trees canopy has declined the tree is most likely beyond saving.

What can you do if your ash tree is infested with the emerald ash borer? You don’t have many options… if you do nothing the tree will die. The sooner you notice the infestation the better the chance of treating the insect. Treatment is a soil-applied insecticide which is applied around the base and absorbed by the tree through the root system. The insecticide travels throughout the tree killing the emerald ash borer.

On larger trees, it may be required to inject the insecticide into the tree itself. The insecticide does break down so this may necessitate repeated applications annually to protect the tree. The only other solution is to cut the tree down, which in many cases is not what anyone really wants to do but if the infestation is large there is no other option.

If you need help with your ash trees contact a professional landscape company who will know how to properly identify the problem and help you address it accordingly.

American Landscaping Inc.

(301) 384-4486


We serve clients in Montgomery, Prince Georges, Howard and Anne Arundel Counties, throughout the Washington, DC metro area including the following cities and communities:

Ashton MD | Sandy Spring, MD | Barnesville, MD | Beltsville, MD | Bethesda, MD | Brookeville, MD |Burtonsville, MD | Cabin John, MD | Calverton, MD | Chevy Chase, MD | Clarksville, MD | Colesville, MD | College Park, MD | Columbia, MD | Damascus, MD | Friendship Heights, MD | Gaithersburg, MD | Germantown, MD | Glen Echo, MD | Hyattsville, MD |  Kensington, MD | Laytonsville, MD | Laurel MD | Montgomery Village, MD | North Bethesda, MD | Kensington, MD | North Potomac, MD | Olney, MD | Poolesville, MD | Potomac, MD | Riverdale, MD | Rockville, MD | Savage, MD | Scaggsville, MD | Silver Spring, MD |Somerset, MD | Spencerville, MD | Oakmont, MD | Takoma Park, MD | Wheaton, MD | West Laurel MD | White Oak, MD | Berwyn Heights, MD | Cloverly, MD | Glenwood, MD | Lanham, MD |  Landover, MD | Fulton, MD | Washington D.C.