Is this Emerald Ash Borer damage?

Asked February 26, 2018, 5:19 PM EST

I noticed yesterday the bark on this ash tree has strips torn off all up and down the trunk. There are holes in the torn areas. (see pics) Is this the result of ash borers? If so, what should I do with the tree? I am assuming I should cut it down. If I do, should I burn the wood, and what should I do with the leaves, branches, etc? Thanks.

Baltimore County Maryland woodpeckers emerald ash borer invasive ash tree ash tree with bark removed bark on ash tree

1 Response

Woodpeckers have removed the bark of the ash. They are going after the larvae of the emerald ash borer, which is the boring stage of the insect. You can see the emergence holes of the ash borer in you photos. The woodpeckers are not the problem. The ash borer is killing or has already killed this tree.

As you may know, emerald ash borer is a foreign invasive insect which is killing all ash trees in the U.S. unless a tree has perpetual application of pesticides, which we cannot recommend. Please read through the information on our website: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/invasives/emerald-ash-borer

Be aware that ash trees quickly become very brittle and dangerous as soon as they die. This makes them more expensive and problematic to remove. You may want to remove the tree before it completely dies, or at least as soon as it dies.

ECN