Emerald Ash Borer

Asked June 21, 2016, 1:31 PM EDT

Recently I received information about Anne Arundel County's response to the Emerald ash borer. According to the AACO forester, the county is injecting high-value trees wth an insecticide injected into the base of the trees. Apparently, the cost is low and the potential value high. I distributed this information to my fellow partners in the AACO Baywise program. Someone suggested that it might be effective to train citizens and master gardeners to treat the trees in order to expand the protection of the trees. My question is whether there has been any thought to train master gardeners to identify the Emerald ash borer and to treat the trees. As a large "army" of informed volunteers, it seems like an easy solution to help address this probable, large-scale devastation. Thank you AACO Master Gardener

Anne Arundel County Maryland

2 Responses

We are glad you are active and aware Master Gardeners and are grateful for the work you do as stewards of the environment, especially through the Bay-Wise program.
It would seem that your solution is a good possible help, but it is not one we can support for multiple reasons.
First of all, the tree injection treatments are very specialized and are only done by trained arborists.
Secondly, the pesticide being used is imidacloprid, which you likely know is one that is being closely studied for links to negative impact on pollinators. A new Maryland law was passed this year that will limit the availability of this pesticide to professionals in the future.
It is still on the market right now, and homeowners can use it individually to protect high value ashes on their property via a drench application. We will attach information on that below.
You can imagine we don't want to encourage high usage of this pesticide, and think it may even be illegal for anyone but certified pesticide applicators (training and certification is done through Maryland Department of Ag) to apply pesticides to other people's landscapes.

Here is our page on Emerald Ash Borer,: http://www.extension.umd.edu/hgic/invasives/emerald-ash-borer
as well as a page that helps homeowners to decide if and when to treat:https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/PDF/NABB_DecisionGuide.pdf
It would be wonderful if you could disseminate this information from our website to your membership.
Thanks for your volunteer involvement and your question!

Thank you for this very helpful and informative reply.
While I was somewhat aware that a pesticide license might be required, and therefore place a limit on the opportunity for the MGs to assist, I was not aware that the chemical being used is imidacloprod. This is indeed a frustrating situation of being trapped between a rock and a hard place.
I am delighted to distribute the information you shared.
Thank you again.