Emeral Ash bore

Asked May 2, 2015, 2:26 PM EDT

I have a Red Bud tree that was in brilliant bloom just days ago. Suddenly the tree is beginning to look distressed. Much of the bark on the trunk appears to be pealing off and when I pulled some off I discovered what appears to be an Emerald Ash Bore and some brownish colored shells. Who can identify the insect for me and what is the best course for dealing with the tree. If I cut the tree down what should I do with the wood?

Jefferson County Kentucky

1 Response

I suspect your redbud has been in stress for some time and of course a tree can bloom profusely and still be in stress.

Many problems can occur in our urban landscapes. Competition for space, water, sunlight and resources can set the stage for attracting insects. Native borers attack weakened trees as a part of the natural break down of dying woody plants. Borers feed internally then make the holes in the bark on their way OUT of the tree as adults. Control of borers in shade trees:

At this time, emerald ash borer (EAB) is know to attack only ash or fringe trees (they are related). http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/entfactpdf/ef453.pdf

Some insects we can identify here at our office or we can send them on to the entomologists at UK. Insect samples should be intact and preserved in alcohol when brought to us, if possible.

The peeling bark may also be a sign of wounding or sun scorch - a condition where bark is heated by the sun in freezing temps then refreezes as the sun sets.

Let me know if I can help you further!

Carol Wilder
Horticulture Technician
Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Service
810 Barret Ave
Louisville Ky 40204