Valuable information regarding the forests of Kentucky.
Is it too late for your ash trees?
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is a beetle from Asia that attacks and kills ash trees. EAB was discovered in the Untied States in the summer of 2002 and has since spread throughout the country killing hundreds of millions of ash trees. The adult EAB beetle, pictured here, is metallic green and approximately a half inch long. Adult beetles feed on the foliage of ash trees but cause little notable damage. However, during the immature stage, EAB larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, effectively killing the infected tree.
EAB has been in Kentucky since 2009 and continues to spread dramatically within the commonwealth. If traveling north to Louisville or Lexington, you are likely to see dead ash trees along the highway and in towns. Its hard to say if EAB is already in your area, but I have seen ash trees with early signs of infection along highway corridors as far south as Bowling Green and Glasgow.
The emerald ash borer typically completes a generation life cycle in one to two years. Once the local EAB population reach outbreak levels it is estimated that ash trees will die in five years. Due to the life cycle of EAB you may not notice an ash tree is infected till its too late. Common signs of infection are:
- Sparse leaves and/or dying branches in the upper part of trees.
- New sprouts on the roots, lower trunk or lower branches.
- Increased activity of woodpeckers on the tree.
- Bark that is loose, flaking or has vertical splits.
- S-shaped tunnels under the bark with white or cream-colored larvae.
- D-shaped (1/8 inch diameter) holes in the bark.
If your ash trees have any of these indicators, you may have less than two years before they die. Once an ash tree is infected, the value of the wood decreases. By the time the tree dies, it loses its value completely due to rot and staining.
Is it too late for your ash trees? Ash trees can be chemically treated to prevent infection of EAB but due to price and duration of reapplication (treatment), it is not considered to be feasible for entire forests and reserved for landscape or sentimental trees. If you wish to get the best return for your ash trees, it is best to sell your ash trees before they get infected and die.
Unsure that you have ash trees? Unsure that they have been infected? Unsure of the value you will lose? Contact Dynamic Forest Management for a free forest assessment visit.
Timber trespass - you may be entitled to 3 times the value
Each year, numerous private forest landowners discover their timber has been stolen or inadvertently harvested. Please visit the Kentucky's Division of Forestry website for more information regarding timber trespass.
Dynamic Forest Management can help you prevent your timber being stolen by marking boundaries with a long term paint. If you have had timber stolen, Dynamic Forest Management can represent you with a timber theft investigation, report and valuation.