woopecker = EAB?

skyjumperMarch 10, 2013

i've been treating my mature green ash trees with an imidacloprid soil drench for a couple years now. they have shown no symptoms of EAB until just this winter when I noticed a fair amount of woodpecker damage on some of the upper limbs. I got up there with a ladder and did not notice any D holes or tunneling in the sapwood. just missing bark surrounding single holes in the tree.

could this woodpecker damage be something else?

I have noticed a fair amount of carpenter ant activity on/around these trees.

realted question -- is this new "treeage" trunk injection treatment really any better than a soil drench? how much does treeage cost?

these are VERY valuable shade trees and I do not want to lose them...


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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

if you have been properly treating the tree..

i wonder what in the world would be there for the woodpecker to peck???

one would think the systemic would make it bug free.. wouldnt one??


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 6:47PM
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yeah that's what I was thinking too. maybe the tree isn't taking up the insecticide? which is why i'm starting think about the trunk injection methods.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 7:02PM
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Same question as Ken-what would there be to be pecked at? As far as I can tell from your post, you're going about things properly for your goal of protecting these trees. I don't know off-hand whether Treeage has a better record of success. There have been reports of longer efficacy. Up to three years I've heard. But imidaclopyralid, drenched in like you're doing, is highly regarded as effective.

BTW, at a recent seminar, it was learned that at least in this state, in areas of growing infestation, exit holes are only being found up in the crown-no lower trunk ones. But you've got that covered as well. I just don't know. They also said to watch for woodpeckers-no lie! I guess if that's where we're at, it's already a lost cause.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 8:11PM
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Imidacloprid doesn't work on everything. Here it doesn't work on Lilac Ash Borer, for one.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

book em dano ...

great idea ...

sky.. have you ever actually ID'd the bug that you are after ???? let me rephrase that.. we know what you are after.. the question is.. what bug do you have????

thats kind of the starting point for treatment ... and/or prevention ...


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:05AM
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You can't save the tree forever....EAB is here to stay. Just let it go your just doing more harm than good pumping insecticide into the ground.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 8:46AM
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You know it is entirely possible that the woodpecker has decided that he likes that tree. They peck on some things because the like to do it.

You will realize it is sound they like not always the insects they find, when they start routinely pecking on a stand pipe, or similar item around your house

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 9:59AM
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ken I'm not sure what bug it is. I will say that I removed a pussy willow clump last year that was infested with a close cousin of the EAB -- same tunneling and D shaped holes all over the tree. I think it may have been a bronze birch borer. to my knowledge those bugs did not transfer to my ash trees though.

one of my smaller ash had earwigs living under the bark on one of the branches. folks on GW said the earwig did not bore the cavity, only occupied it. never did figure out what dug the hole(s) - they were small, round, & peppered along the branch. not like EAB holes.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA

could it be sapsucker damage?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 1:55PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

The reason to treat the trees is to try to preserve them until effective control (biological) can be found and utilized and/or the native predators of birch borers adapt to prey on EAB as well as the natives (some circumstantial evidence this may be happening in some locations). If the trees can be saved through the onslaught, then their genetic diversity can contribute to a recovering ash population.Not to mention, there are personal reason's. I know I would try to keep them, and I hate using pesticides, and those I use are typically not persistent and very well known.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 3:29PM
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Just let it go your just doing more harm than good pumping insecticide into the ground.

Such blanket statements are rarely true.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 4:16PM
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What I meant up above is that Imidaclopyralid-based products have a good record of success against EAB. Yes, proper ID of target organism is the first step. Good catch, Ken.

The insects, if there were any, that tunneled in your pussy willow were most certainly not bronze birch borers. It just doesn't work that way, nor is the mere presence of such tunneling an indication that a close cousin of EAB is at work. There's lots of borers, a few generalists and a lot more that are specialists for one genera of trees/shrubs.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:01PM
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here's the pics of the pussy willow. I never did ID it, but based on the evidence here I assumed it was of the same genus as eab...

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:56AM
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davidrt28 (zone 7)

could be a native

Here is a link that might be useful: http://eol.org/pages/529987/overview

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Part of the problem might be the size of the tree you are trying to protect. Imidacloprid has only been proven effective on trees that are 20" diameter at chest hieght or smaller. For trees bigger than this, emamectin benzoate or Tree-age is the recommended course of treatment.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:22PM
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just a follow up. I have confirmed that these green Ash are in fact infected with EAB despite several years of soil drenches with Merit.

auidiolover is right - they were too large to effectively transport lethal concentration of imidacloprid to the outer canopy using the homeowner label dosage levels. perhaps if I had used 2X or 3X the label rates??

the 2012 drought no doubt contributed to this.

the trees have leafed out and appear to be transpiring normally, although some of the outer branching is a bit thinner than last year.

which brings me to my next question:

I have hired an arborist to do the trunk injection of treeAge. However, I would like to do even more.

What I had in mind was a bark & folar spray of Safari (Dinotefuran). It is labeled for bark banding around the lower trunk - but what about applying it directly to the bark of the upper infected branches?? will it absorb into the upper branches and quickly move to the infestation sites? this method is not prescribed on the label directions, but I'm wondering if it will work. if so, it seems like it would be a more effective way to treat the problem than bark banding - and I have no issues with getting up on a 40ft ladder to reach the outer canopy.

anyone have experience with this??

    Bookmark   June 7, 2013 at 10:48AM
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