A new natural predator for Emerald Ash Borer.
The emerald ash borer (aka EAB), the relentless insect native to Asia & Eastern Russia, hides inside ash trees and devastates them from within. It has been identified as spreading in our immediate area. With it is the threat of mass destruction of Maryland’s beautiful ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) that line many of our streets and populate our forests.
What is an invasive species? When a plant or animal is transported to a new environment, the predators and other natural enemies that exist in its natural habitat are no longer present. This gives the species an advantage over other species in the area, and allows it to flourish in its new land. The species becomes known as “invasive” when its presence becomes harmful to the natural ecosystem processes.
As our world has become global, invasive species of plants and insects have been introduced (accidentally and purposefully), taken over, and are spreading like wildfires.
Much research is needed to control emerald ash borer but it’s natural enemies in its native homeland include predaceous and parasitic insects & insect-pathogenic fungi. Now we’re discovering some help in the U.S. from woodpeckers and nuthatches! Researchers from Cornell and the U.S. Forest Service report that citizen scientists (also known as bird-watchers) reported that populations of woodpecker and nuthatch grew in areas of known EAB infestations as they had luckily discovered the new food source.
While it will take some time for scientists and mother nature to help even the playing field, if you suspect those woodpeckers hammering your sick ash tree are after EAB, don’t wait, contact the arborists at Wood Acres Tree Specialists,- and let them know that a little bird told you.
Wood Acres Tree Specialists arborists are experts at tree disease, pest management and tree care. They’ve been serving Montgomery County Maryland and Washington DC since 1983. Learn more about the emerald ash borer and other tree and shrub damaging insects in their Plant Health Care indexes.