Who doesn’t love relaxing in the shade of a tree in the summertime? And who wouldn’t love to have a wind block from harsh northern winds in winter time? There are simple pleasures that don’t come easily in southeast Kansas. The climate here is harsh. The hot dry summers and cold windy winters are peppered with fierce, destructive storms sometimes bringing hail, tornadoes or a thick layer of ice that brings branches down by the score. Growing a tree to maturity in the Independence area takes time, care, attention, and luck. There are, however, some things you can do to increase your luck in this area and turning to TCL Nursery and Outdoor Living and our trained and certified arborist is one of them. In this week’s article, we’ll look one of the most talked-about pests that Kansans are currently facing. If you know you need the services of an arborist, call today and set up a visit with our arborist. If you have questions that are not answered in this week’s article, stop by our nursery and a member of our staff would be happy to help you.

Emerald Ash Borer

Since 2002, when this invasive pest was discovered in the United States, this beetle that originated in Asia, has blamed for the death of millions of ash trees. It made its way to Oklahoma in 2016 and while it has yet to be found in every county, we need to be prepared for it and begin our efforts to combat it.


One of the first things to know about it is how to identify it. This beetle is surprisingly small. At just a half an inch it is often photographed on a penny, upon which it fits comfortably. It is, as the name suggests, an emerald green and it is metallic and shiny. The larvae are up to one and a half inch long and segmented, with pincers on their tail end. Seeing either the adult or the larvae are not very common. What is common is for you to find a D-shaped hole in the bark and to notice that the canopy of the tree is not thriving, bark is falling off, and finally t it dies.

How Do They Kill the Trees?

It is is the larvae that do the damage. They burrow around just under the bark and interrupt the trees ability to transport water and nutrients to higher branches and leaves. When they emerge in the springtime, they feed in the canopy of the tree for about a week before they begin to mate. One female can lay between 70 and 200 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are laid on the outside of the tree and when they hatch, the tiny first-stage larva eats its way into the layer just under the bark. It is in this layer that it will feed and grow until fall when it burrows deeper to enter the prepupae and pupae stages. The following spring the emerge as adults by eating their way out, and then the continue the cycle.

Do They Kill Just Ash Trees?

Yes, they kill all species of the Ash tree.

Do They Have Natural Enemies?

Scientists are looking for their natural enemies but as of yet they have no single successful biological controls for the Emerald Ash Borer. The government has granted permits for the release of several biocontrols and research continues and it may be many years before conclusions can be drawn.

What are Current Methods of Control?

One of the most important things you can do is to watch your trees and call an arborist, such as the one at TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living to spray your tree with pesticide to control the adult population before they lay eggs. Another important thing to do is to remember to not transport firewood. Burn it where you buy it is the tagline of the campaign to educate people about the danger of taking wood from an area of infestation to areas where it is not yet found, and thus introducing it and spreading this invasive destructive pest.

If you suspect that your Ash tree is infested with Emerald Ash Borer, call TLC Nursery & Outdoor Living and set up an appointment with our certified arborist.