Pest Update (Spring 2018)

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html

This insect is now well established in Troy and surrounding areas. Over the next few years expect all untreated Fraxinus species to become weakened, break apart and die from the feeding activity of this insect. We can recommend companies that inject ash trees every other year with an Emamectin Benzoate. This insecticide is very effective, and costs about $12 per diameter inch. People who have been monitoring EAB since it’s detection near Detroit about 16 years ago suggest that after all the untreated trees have been killed off (10-15 years), and the insect population crashes, treated trees may survive untreated indefinitely.


Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7250.html

A slowly-encroaching insect-like animal, the HWA appears along the twigs of hemlock trees as 1/8” diameter cottony masses. Though it generally takes years to kill off trees, it treating the problem as soon as it is noticed will keep the tree generally healthy and beautiful.

At a recent workshop put on by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), a leading researcher of HWA said that he is looking for infected hemlock hedges throughout the region to use as sites for rearing insects which are predacious of HWA. If you have such a hedge, please let us know, and we will put you in touch with his organization.


Oak Wilt

https://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/46919.html

(we are very proud of our friend and occasional co-worker Jennifer Kotary for her work as the DEC Oak Wilt Response Operations Director)

A new and scary disease is a threat to all oak trees. Red oak species succumb much more quickly than white. For now we do not recommend planting red oak trees. And our tree crews will postpone all routine pruning of oaks until the dormant season for the insect vector of this fungus – November through February. If we must make wounds on Oaks April-October, we will coat the wounds as they are made.

You can help us and the authorities to identify this disease ASAP when it crops up in a new location. It may be possible to manage this disease if we report it swiftly and spread the word about not transporting firewood. Currently it is in the Town of Glenville, Schenectady county, New York, as well as on Long Island.


Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB)

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7255.html

This large insect is not currently a threat to our area. It is being handled aggressively by the federal authorities because it poses a risk to virtually all deciduous trees. Many people think they see this insect, but instead are spotting similar-looking beetles.

One of the interesting by-products of work to contain ALB is DEC’s Pool Survey:

https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/110851.html

which uses backyard pools as a means of trapping insects for identification.

Spotted Lanternfly

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/plant_health/2014/alert_spotted_lanternfly.pdf

A very colorful insect whose effects are as yet unknown, but likely poses a risk to commercial apple and grape operations.