Wood Acres Tree Specialists
10315 Kensington Parkway, Kensington MD 20895-3358
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Our tree crews are highly skilled and have years of experience in the tree care industry. Our field crews attend safety programs and review safety guidelines as provided by the Tree Care Industry Association.
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Natural U.S. Predators Discover the Emerald Ash Borer

A new natural predator for Emerald Ash Borer.

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.

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Emerald Ash Borer found in Rockville, Maryland

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive

Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources – Forestry Archive

In mid-June Wayne Noll (City of Rockville), Chuck Schuster and Stanton Gill of University of Maryland visited a park in Rockville to examine ash trees. They found exit holes and adult beetles of the highly-invasive species, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis. present. A Maryland Department of Agriculture representative confirmed the find. This officially makes Rockville an Emerald Ash Borer jurisdiction.

What does this mean for the ash trees of Montgomery County MD? Green ash and white ash are the two popular street trees used in urban landscapes. Green ash tends to be the dominant ash sold by the green industry in Maryland. Unlike many native borer species that mainly attack weakened tree, the Emerald Ash Borer attacks healthly and weak trees alike.

Be on the lookout for small holes about the size of a pea in your ash if they start to look stressed. Emerald Ash Borers are a brilliant metallic emerald green but if they’re already in your tree the hole will be your only clue. If you suspect EAB damage to your ash trees in Montgomery County, MD or Washington DC, contact Wood Acres Tree Specialists immediately for expert diagnosis and treatment by one of our arborists. Visit Wood Acres’ tree pest index for more information on the Emerald Ash Borer and other damaging insects to Maryland trees and shrubs.

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Tree Cracks – A Sign of Possible Failure

Tree Cracks

As summer approaches and strong storms with high winds are on the horizon it’s a good idea to take a walk around your property and get an up-close look at your trees. If you see any cracks in the wood this is an indication that this tree could fall and damage your property. It’s time to contact a professional arborist like Wood Acres Tree Specialists.

Cracks are a definite warning sign because they mean that your tree’s structure has been compromised. Eventually, they can split and down comes your tree – on your fence, your power lines, your house -or even present a danger to your family.

Tree cracks in stems, branches and roots fall into different categories – all which can lead to sudden failure:

Horizontal cracks run across the grain of the wood and happen right before the tree comes down and are difficult to detect beforehand.

Vertical cracks run with the wood grain and may appear as:

  • Shear cracks: run through a stem and continue to elongate when the wind sways the tree. This finally results in the stem splitting in two and the wood shears apart.
  • Ribbed cracks: caused by a tree attempting to seal over a wound or damage from incorrect pruning. The tree may heal itself but extreme weather may cause movement or freezing and cause it to reopen. The tree compensates by creating thicker annual rings near the ribbed crack trying to stabilize itself. Over the years this creates a ribbed appearance. Ribbed cracks combined with other problems like decay can pose a severe failure risk. A Wood Acres’ arborist can measure the shell thickness around the tree’s circumference and determine how wide the crack is while checking for other issues.

Working with a certified arborist who is highly trained in the proper pruning techniques can keep some of these problems from developing in your tree in the first place. Support your trees’ limbs with cabling and bracing. Avoid being shortsighted and having just anyone with a saw cut your trees. You may think you’re saving money at the time but taking down a tree (& losing a valuable mature tree on your property) is very expensive and dangerous work – and could even be avoided with regular care from an arborist.

If you do come upon cracks in your Montgomery County or Washington DC trees, contact Wood Acres Tree Specialists right away for expert advice and care. If removal is the only recourse, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they are licensed and insured. You’ll have peace of mind that this dangerous procedure is done with stringent safety and performance standards.

Wood Acres adheres to the standards presented in ANSI A300 (American National Standards Institute) and is a member of TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association), Maryland Arborist Association, and the International Society of Arboriculture.


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