Tree News

Tree group hosts session on how to combat destruction of Dallas' ash trees

Tree group hosts session on combating destruction of Dallas' ash trees

emerald ash borer
These bugs are evil. Courtesy photo

Texas Trees Foundation, a group that addresses urban forestry issues in Dallas, is hosting a training session on the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that kills off ash trees and has been discovered in Dallas County.

Texas Trees Foundation will conduct "Identifying & Managing Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)," a technical training session for industry professionals, part of an ongoing effort to preserve Dallas' tree canopy cover, a vital source of protection from the city's urban heat.

According to a release, the Emerald Ash Borer poses a threat to nearly 2 million ash trees across Dallas; in the Great Trinity Forest, 23 percent of the tree population is at risk.

Tree professionals can learn general information on this invasive species believed to have arrived via packing materials from Asia.

Attendees will learn general information on this invasive species, as well as more hands-on tips that include a live, outdoors demonstration on how to inject an ash tree, how to take a tree down safely, how to remove it to contain the spread, quarantine issues, and more.

Local city officials are invited to attend, and it's open to the general public, although organizers note that the technical aspect is more designed for professionals.

The class takes place on Thursday, June 30 from 9:30-11:30 am at Dallas College Richland Campus, Fannin Performance Hall, 12800 Abrams Rd. Room F102.

There'll be:

  • tree professionals in attendance
  • an urban forester panel providing instruction on identifying EAB
  • Ash tree on-site, injection demonstration

The devastating effect of the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle cannot be overstated. Native to Asia, it was unknown in North America until its discovery in southeast Michigan in 2002. Since then, it has spread to 35 states including Texas, where it was first detected in Harrison County in Northeast Texas in 2016. It's since been detected in Bowie, Cass, Dallas, Denton, Marion, Parker and Tarrant counties.

EAB have a distinctive iridescent green and copper color, and a bullet-shaped body typical of buprestid beetles. The pest has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the eastern half of the United States and Canada.

Larvae live under the bark while they develop and winter during the cold months. They create zig zag patterns that grow larger in width as the pest grows in size.

After reaching adulthood, they leave the ash tree by chewing through the bark, leaving a signature 1/8-inch D-shaped exit hole. Several exit holes will exist in a single tree at any given time.

Affected ash trees begin to show thinning tree crowns, losing leaves beginning at the top (the crown) of the tree, then working its way down.

They also show damaged leaves. Emerald ash borers feed on leaves in a notch-like fashion. Leaves appear ragged and uneven on the sides.

Any trees that seem to be at risk are recommended to be cut down immediately, to stop the spread.

According to CooperPest.com, more than 99 percent of trees "in the landscape" - in yards near homes, along municipal streets, in parks, playgrounds, and campgrounds - will eventually become infested and die from EAB. EAB kills unprotected ash trees within 2-3 years of infestation and can eliminate entire stands of ash trees within 10 years.