A “Bore-ing” Alert for Your Ash Trees

Maybe it was only a matter of time … but a dangerous, invasive pest known for decimating ash trees has arrived in Brookfield.

The emerald ash borer was officially documented on the city’s southeast side in early March. City crews removing an ash tree at 110 S. Elm Grove Road discovered the pest.

This is serious. If you have ash trees in your yard, this tiny (half-inch), metallic green beetle can destroy them. The threat resembles Dutch elm disease, which wiped elm trees off thousands of miles of North American landscape in the past century.

The emerald ash borer is native to Asia. It was first identified in southeastern Michigan in 2002. Chances are it hitchhiked across the ocean in packing crates on ships or planes.

Emerald ash borer in Brookfield, WI

Since its initial discovery 14 years ago, the emerald ash borer (EAB) has spread across the eastern, southern and Midwestern regions of the U.S., and into eastern Canada. It’s blamed for killing hundreds of millions of ash trees.

How? The insect lays eggs on ash trees. Newly-born larvae chew into the trees, and feed on the insides while growing. Their gorging on inner bark disrupts a tree’s ability to move water and nutrients. The tree starves and dies, usually in two to four years.

It’s a slow, deliberate process that’s not always recognizable. Symptoms of EAB infestation are similar to other pests or diseases. Unfortunately, trees targeted by the invasive insect are usually doomed.

Spread of the emerald ash borer is largely blamed on people transporting firewood and ash trees. Thirty-nine Wisconsin counties, including Waukesha County, have quarantines on moving both outside their borders.

Yes, local ash trees are in danger. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. As your landscaping and lawn services partner in Brookfield, Elm Grove and New Berlin, WI, GMS is committed to helping protect your ash trees against the emerald ash borer.

Our next post will examine some proactive measures to keep your trees safe. For many local homeowners, the trees that surround them are like old friends. Protecting them, after all, is just what friends do.


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