Anxious environmentalists have been dreading the arrival of emerald ash borer in Oregon. Sadly, on June 30th 2022, the presence of emerald ash borer in Oregon was found by a Portland biologist picking his children up from summer camp.
Emerald Ash Borer Oregon
For folks from Michigan, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and the 32 other US states where emerald ash borer have devastated up to 99% of ash trees, the seriousness of emerald ash borer in Oregon is clear.
Emerald ash borer in Oregon threatens our lone native ash species; Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia). Oregon Ash fills a unique habitat niche along streambanks and lowland praries. Its’ loss could cause forests to be replaced by invasive plants, impact soil health, increase water temperature, and threaten habitat for countless fish, bird, and wildlife species.
Additionally, Portland has over nine-thousand ash street trees which are at risk of death by emerald ash borer.
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Emerald Ash Borer Life Cycle
The emerald ash borer life cycle consists of four stages; egg, larva, pupa and adult. They may take one or two years to complete their life cycle, with adults emerging in mid- spring.
According to a USFS study, mated female emerald ash borers are capable of flying over 20km (12.4 miles) to infest new ash trees. This poses a huge problem for emerald ash borer control and eradication efforts.
Emerald Ash Borer Control
Emerald ash borer control proves difficult once established. But there are steps you can take to control emerald ash borer in Portland:
- Monitoring: Inspect your ash trees for dying branches towards the top. If you notice a patch or section of dead branches in the canopy, look for tiny 1/8″ D-shaped exit holes, or metallic green beetles on the tree.
- Never transport firewood: Emerald ash borer spreads readily through the transportation of firewood from state to state. Prevent Emerald Ash Borer spreading in Oregon by choosing to “Burn it where you buy it,” or using certified pest-free firewood.
- Tree Removal: The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Emerald Ash Borer Readiness and Response Plan recommends preemptive ash tree removal when it’s confirmed to be established within 10-15 miles.
- Pesticides: There are four main pesticides that are used against Emerald ash borer; emmemectin benzoate, imidacloprid, dinotefuran, and azadirachtin. These chemicals are systemic, meaning they’re transported through the plant tissue, and can help effectively decrease mortality for months to years in treated trees.
Emerald Ash Borer Treatment
When choosing an emerald ash borer treatment, most agencies recommend a product containing ememectin benzoate.
Ememectin is produced by the fermentation of a naturally occuring bacterium Streptomyces avermitilis.
There are also products containing azadirachtin, which comes from from natural neem seed oil. Neem oil is an incredible tool to help stop bugs eating plants. It is a repellent, anti-feedant and disrupts the reproductive cycle of emerald ash borer and most other plant feeding insects.
It even works of pathogenic fungi and nematodes, so it will make your trees more resistant to pest and disease pressure all around.
Prevent Emerald Ash Borer
All pesticides, including natural pest control products, need to be applied in a way that doesn’t expose people, pollinators or beneficial wildlife to toxic chemicals.
Emerald ash borer control products are commonly injected directly into the affected tree trunk or drenched into the soil, so there’s no drift, over-spray or signficiant risk of non-target exposure.
We specialize in providing eco-friendly pest control around Portland using Integrated Pest Management (IPM).