This image is symptomatic of the early stages of Emerald Ash Borer infestation in an ash tree. Image taken by Wyandotte County K-State Research and Extension horticulture agent Lynn Lowery, May 26, 2014.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) confirmed Tuesday, June 24 that 3 adult emerald ash borer (EAB) were caught at a Roeland Park trap tree and 1 adult EAB was caught at a trap tree in Shawnee during a trap check in Johnson County, Kan. The newest confirmations were made by a KDA entomologist. The insect was first found in northern Johnson County in 2013. KDA is monitoring the insects’ movement through the use of traps.
“Up until now, we have been cautioning people to take a wait-and-see approach and not treat their Ash trees, said Dennis Patton, county Extension agent/horticulture. “With these new confirmations it is clear that the EAB population is spreading in Johnson County. We recommend spring treatments to tree owners, but only for valuable trees in excellent-to-good condition.”
Patton went on to add, “Tree owners need to understand that this is not a one-and-done deal. If you decide to treat your trees it’s with the understanding that it is for the life of the tree.”
Green and white ash have long been popular street trees. Since its first detection in Michigan in 2002, emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis, a wood boring insect, has killed millions of ash trees in the native woodlands and suburban streets within its path. The insect is now present in twenty three states. Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation estimates that there are 4.6 million ash trees in the region at risk.
Patton’s advice from last year still stands. “The best recommendation at this time is not to panic. You have time to assess your situation and determine the best course of action, which can range from treatment to letting nature run its course.”
Patton stressed that treatments should be done in the spring. Before any action is taken, homeowners should assess the health and value of their tree. Preventive treatment options are available, but should only be considered for trees that are healthy and a value to the landscape
The Extension office has on their website detailed information with points tree owners should consider when dealing with emerald ash borer. Or they may call the Extension office at (913) 715-7000.