Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer is one of the major infestations that we treat. Learn how to protect your trees with our guaranteed treatments.
The devastation by the Emerald Ash Borer on valuable ash trees has spread from Michigan throughout Ohio Indiana, and down into Kentucky and all over the Greater Cincinnati tree service area.


Thousands of valuable ash trees have been destroyed by the larvae of this beetle. The Emerald Ash Borer arrived undetected in packing cases and pallets that came from China several years ago. The projected cost of removal of these trees is $700 to $1,000 per tree. Removing large Ash trees of course would cost more.

However, new treatments and delivery systems combine to save trees economically in the Greater Cincinnati Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana areas from devastation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) with 100% guarantee from Cincinnati's Back Tree Service.


The initial impact of the Emerald Ash Borer several years ago led to some financial decisions to remove trees that today would be preserved, saving millions of dollars over removal and replacement.

Many of our ash trees have been weakened over recent years from certain health conditions such as anthracnose, ash tree decline and other diseases brought about by drought and other environmental stresses.

Most native borers attack only unhealthy trees, unlike the Emerald Ash Borer. It is non selective attacking healthy and unhealthy ash trees alike.

You need to have an evaluation and assessment of your ash trees by a tree care professional to ensure that your trees can be protected before it is too late. Treatment or replacement should be in your plans now.



Do I Have An Ash Tree?

The Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Michigan and devastated the Ash tree population before a cure was discovered. Click on the link to see the paper "Do I have an Ash Tree", from Michigan State University.

The first question is "Do I have ash trees?" The easiest and best way is to get an inspection and evaluation by an ISA Certified Arborist tree care professional.


On the left are beautiful ash trees in jeopardy of being cut down. It would have been a shame to destroy these trees when a treatment is available.




Here is an example of the leaf structure of an ash tree. The picture shows several leaves. Notice the compound leaf and leaflets opposite each other. Usually five to seven leaflets make one complete leaf attached to a twig which is also opposite in structure.


How to Identify the Emerald Ash Borer


The Emerald Ash Borer has a very distinctive exit hole. There is no other insect in North America that produces a perfect "D" shaped exit hole very near 1/8 inch in diameter.


In this next picture an emerging Emerald Ash Borer can be seen. Notice once again the unique "D shaped hole.


At the base of the trunk leaves are forming. This is called epicormic growth, and is clear evidence that this ash tree is under stress.


Notice the damage done to the tree by the larvae of the Emerald Ash Borer. Eventually the larvae girdle the tree inside the bark and cut off the flow of nutrients. Exit holes may also include other insects and therefore not all holes may be D shaped and 1/8th an inch in diameter..

Emerald Ash Borer Treatment

In the past, treatments such as Soil Drenching, Soil Injection and Sprays were used with varying impacts on insect populations. In some areas saving the trees was not economically feasible due in part to the performance of the formulation and the delivery system.
Today however, five universities and six leading Emerald Ash Borer researchers are in agreement that new treatments and delivery systems have changed the economics of treating ash trees.


The trunk injection is the most effective method according to many University studies. That's why we use it. The formulation that Back Tree Service has proven most effective is ArborJet's TREE-äge formulation, with the active ingredient Emamectin Benzoate. This formulation is registered in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and of course covers the Greater Cincinnati tree service area.

We have learned through experience that when the trunk injection system is combined with Pneumatic Vertical Mulching and fertilization, our success rate in saving ash trees in the Greater Cincinnati tree service area is nearly 100%!


The Pneumatic Vertical Mulching tool promotes tree health by enabling aeration of the soil, thus stimulating root development. This is called soil remediation. When done in conjunction with trunk injection, it aids in the even distribution of the formulation. Both Pneumatic Vertical Mulching and trunk injection are recommended every two to three years.


Results: In this example, the Ash tree on the left has been treated with trunk injection of the TREE-äge formulation, while the Ash tree on the right, and toward the back, remained untreated and lost the fight against the Emerald Ash Borer.

Environmental Economics of Ash Trees:

A single 18" diameter white ash impacts a drainage system in the following way. It collects in its leaves, 2,400 gallons of water every year that would otherwise be added to the storm water treatment system. In addition, the root system holds 27 times the water of a bare soil. It reduces energy consumption by cooling in the summer. It also reduces air pollution.

The City of Westland, MI removed its trees early in the infestation in the United States, and experienced a 33% increase in outdoor watering. As a result of the increased demand, the water authority raised water rates. That was a double hit for this city. Having to consume more water, and rates that increased by 10%. All this is in addition to the cost of removal.

Tree Removal vs. Treatment:

Discussions with many municipalities indicate that the average cost of removal and replacement, of a single tree is typically between $750 and $1,000 in the Greater Cincinnati tree service area. Although removing larger trees would obviously cost more. Replacement cost factors include removal: labor, equipment, fuel, etc., and replacement: the tree, mulch, soil, stump grinding, watering.

Frequency of Treatment:

The treatment of ash trees with the combination of Injection and Pneumatic Vertical Mulching has proven to be effective for a 2 year protection. Some thought due to the suppressing skipping 2 years between treatments should suffice. University found that to not be the case. The additional year researchers recommend staying on schedule treat every other year.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Blog:

Tim's years of personal research have taken him to Michigan, New England, and all over Ohio, and have made him one of the most quoted authorities in the Greater Cincinnati tree care area.

You can read what the local press has to say about the Emerald Ash Borer and Tim's expertise by clicking on the following link.
Emerald Ash Borer, Cincinnati

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Back Tree Service
2300 E. Kemper RD. Cincinnati, OH 45241