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Emerald Ash Borer alert

EAB identified near Princeton

PRINCETON — Local field arborist Dennis Taylor recently identified an adult Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Princeton.

While EAB has certainly been active in Princeton for a couple of years, it’s not been identified until now.

Taylor, who works for Taylor’s Trees and Turf, explained he was visiting with a potential client on June 6 when he spotted the beetle.

“The closest ID had been in eastern Bureau County, however this EAB was in Princeton’s back door, approximately a quarter mile east of Interstate 180 on U.S. Route 6,” he said. “It came from the very white ash the client and I were discussing. I knew the adults were active now from past history and growing degree days, but to see it directly in front of me was surprising.”

According to Taylor, the EAB harbors in the upper canopy of trees, where it eats and lays eggs. The larvae are the devastating factor as they feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.

“The damage has been devastating in LaSalle and Eastern Bureau County for all untreated ash,” he said. “The eggs hatch, and the damaging larvae go to work destroying the upper canopy until they emerge again as an adult leaving the ‘D’ shaped exit hole and move on.”

To prevent devastation from ensuing, Taylor recommends having ash trees evaluated — being proactive is key. There are effective and proven suppression techniques for EAB.

“If you’re not sure if you have an ash, contact an arborist to assess your property,” he said. “You may have potential issues on other trees, shrubs or ornamentals that can also be diagnosed and dealt with before it’s too late.”

For those who have not started treatment, it’s not too late to start dealing with the ash’s health care, but the clock is ticking.

“Leaving the ash to fend for itself or thinking EAB won’t destroy your tree is certainly giving it a death sentence,” he said.

Dennis Taylor, a field arborist at Taylor’s Trees and Turf, contributed to this story.

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