Tree Cutting Along Roadways
One can’t help but notice that there has been a lot of tree cutting activity along local roadways the last couple of months. Besides cleaning up the trees that have been damaged or toppled due to high winds, much of the activity is the result of cutting down ash trees that have been invaded by the destructive emerald ash borer. Utility and roads crews are working to ensure that the roadways remain safe and passable, and electricity deliverable to customers without interruption. Emerald ash borer was first caught in the “purple” traps” back in 2012 around Jefferson, in Frederick County. This insect has spread throughout the rest of the county over the last six years. Presently, there are not many ash trees that do not display some signs of invasion, unless the trees have been treated with the proper insecticide prior to being attacked. The female emerald ash borer lays its eggs on ash trees, then the young larvae bore into the tree and feed on the inner bark. This feeding activity girdles the tree, causing its demise in one to three years. The larvae mature inside the tree, then emerge to reproduce in late April to early May. The emergence of the adult beetles usually corresponds to when black locust trees come into bloom. Ash trees have D shaped exit holes where the emerald ash borer exits the tree. Another telltale sign of ash trees under attack is the sloughing of bark. This bark sloughing is the result of woodpeckers stripping bark to feed on the emerald ash borer.
Once ash trees die from emerald ash borer, they become very brittle, and it is not uncommon for them to topple over during a strong wind or have large branches break off. Another phenomenon that has been identified has been called “ash snap”when a large section of the trunk breaks apart and the tree may break in half. There have been a number of personal injuries and fatalities from people cutting dead ash trees. It is best to have experts remove ash trees to avoid such mishaps. As a homeowner, it would be a good idea to look at the trees around your home, along your driveway, or any area where you spend time to see if any trees seem to have bark stripping, other signs of severe decline, or standing dead trees. If these trees exist, it is best to hire a MD Registered Tree Expert to safely remove them. MD Tree Experts have the necessary knowledge, experience, and insurance to deal with dead and dying ash trees.
Article by FCFCDB member
Nature Note for 4/15/2018