New Year, New Landscape: Preparation Begins Now

Although winter brings cold, frigid temperatures here in the northeast, Emerald Arborists are currently hard at work maintaining landscapes, preparing them to thrive in 2021.

At Emerald, our experts are well aware of the many threats that come with the long winter months. Snow and heavy ice are just two of the elements that can threaten the health of your plantings. Others may include:

  • Dry winds and sun that can ‘burn’ broad-leaf evergreen foliage and conifer needles, which continue to give off vapor during winter
  • Frozen soil that leads to less water intake, as plantings cannot easily replace moisture lost from evaporation
  • Winter sun that heats up tree bark, which can freeze and crack when temperatures quickly drop at sunset
  • Thawing or unusually mild temperatures that can trick plants into breaking dormancy too early. This could result in new growth being harmed or killed during the next cold spell
  • Cold spells that take place earlier in the winter. Early drops in temperature can cause damage plantings that haven’t had a chance to harden off before winter
  • The constant pattern of freezing and thawing over the winter months can push plantings out of the ground, exposing their roots to frigid temperatures
  • When food becomes scarce, animals such as mice, rabbits, deer and others may nibble at leaves and twigs

For any homeowner, monitoring and managing these threats may seem daunting. At Emerald, our solution to fighting winter damage is found through out Plant Health Care Program, coupled with a team of expert Arborists. Our clients can rest well knowing that we are on the ground and extremely busy during the winter, keeping properties healthy and safe. Here are a few of the items our Arborists and technicians focus on, efforts that help prepare landscapes to thrive in the months ahead.


Regardless of the season, your trees need proper care. The winter months are one of the best times to inspect and diagnose for potential diseases. With foliage at a minimal level, our team can more easily observe branching structures, decaying areas, weak branches, and detect cracks. When the spring and summer months arrive, these details are harder to notice, so inspecting during dormant months and applying preventative treatments are great ways to prepare plantings for a healthy, fruitful spring.


 As we’ve detailed before, trees and shrubs can greatly benefit from pruning during the dormant season. Not only will winter pruning prevent diseases from being easily spread, but our technicians are also trained remove damaged or dead branches. These efforts help divert nutrients into other areas of plantings, promoting healthier, hardier blooms.


Drought within trees and shrubs occurs when plantings lose more water than they can soak up from the frozen ground. Add extra wind to the mix, and this can be very problematic for your landscape. It’s very hard to prevent drought from occurring, and that is why our experts apply generous layers of mulch to the base of plantings towards the end of fall/beginning of winter. Mulch helps slow down moisture loss and runoff, keeping roots warm during the cold winter months.

Pest Control

Foraging pests can also cause problems to your landscape during the winter. Rabbits, mice, deer and other furry friends can chew through bark, leaving trunks damaged and more susceptible to winter elements. At Emerald, we protect the health of your family and landscaping with our conventional and environmentally safe pest control treatments. For example, we strategically place temporary fencing and apply deer resistant materials to foliage, preventing deer from browsing on properties during the winter months.

The techniques and treatments listed above are just a few of the measures our team puts into place every year to keep landscapes durable throughout every season. The best defense is a good offense, and our clients see first-hand the benefits that proactive, preventative winter treatments have on their plantings come spring and summer.

As we look ahead to a new year, consider the many benefits your landscape will reap during the warmer active months with the help of Emeralds’ Plant Health Care Program. For questions or more information about winter care, please contact us directly at (914)725-0441 or (203)422-2441.

Winter Maintenance: Preventing Salt Damage to Trees and Shrubs

Salt is an ingredient that is very useful for melting snow and ice, especially during cold winters in the tri-state area. However, if your trees, shrubs, and landscapes aren’t properly protected, salt and other substances can cause temporary or permanent damage to your precious greens.

The Problem

When applied haphazardly, salt can be absorbed by a plants root structure, causing dehydration and plant stress. This damage doesn’t just stop with the salt that you use on your walkway and driveway. When vehicles spray salts on shrubs, plants and other greens, this can create damage to the leaves, buds and small twigs that make up the plants’ structure. Such damage effects the plants’ cold hardiness, which essentially makes them more susceptible to freeze damage.

The Solution

So what options do you have to keep your walkways safe and your precious greens  winter-protected?  There are many alternatives to ice-melting products, such as sand or calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), a salt-free melting agent made from limestone and acetic acid. This material causes minimal damage to plants and lawns. Also, consider the location and type of plantings for winter:

Where should my plantings live?

Be mindful of areas where snowplows might pile up snow and avoid planting in those spaces. Taking these steps will help minimize exposure to salt and keep your plantings healthier.

What types of plants should I chose?

If it’s not possible to install plantings where they will avoid salt, de-icing fluids or soils with heavy deposits of sodium chloride, choose plants that can better tolerate those types of conditions.

Before taking a trip to the hardware store and purchasing winter materials, call the experts at Emerald and speak with an Arborist. Based on the terrain of your landscape, an expert can tell you the best materials to help you walkways stay safe, while preventing them from doing damage to your trees, shrubs and landscapes.

Why Plant Health Care is a Priority, Year-Round

Plant health care throughout New York City, Westchester County and Fairfield County can be a tricky thing. Drastic weather changes, a variety of plant life, the timing and application of plant health care treatments may be difficult for busy homeowners to keep up with. At Emerald, our highly trained technicians visit properties several times a year and scout landscapes for signs of insect and disease activity. By applying controlled methods to areas of landscape requiring intervention, our clients are able to enjoy healthy landscapes year-round.

As we approach 2021, consider adding a Emerald’s Plant Health Care (PHC) Program to your set of new year’s resolutions. Using our holistic approach, we will ensure your landscape continues to thrive with proper, timely treatments. Here are a few examples of why Emeralds’ Plant Health Care team is busy all year:

Winter Care

If you invest in you property, you probably want to ensure both your home and landscape will weather through winter unscathed. Snow, ice, wind and cold temperatures can cause damage to your trees, shrubs and property.

Why Plant Health Care: our Arborists and technicians will ensure your property is winter-ready. PHC clients receive several preventative property walk-throughs to identify broken limbs and remove troubled areas before a branch falls on your property. Through preservation pruning, experts remove limbs before they become a liability, including hazards you may not be able to identify or reach.

Spring Care

While we begin to see the last signs of frost in the spring, this is a very important time to prepare for warmer, active months. Our Arborists can ensure your property remains fortified for any potential threats, including pests, lack of nutrition and much more.

Why Plant Health Care: Emerald checks for pest and insect activity, and if necessary, will apply environmentally responsible treatments. Fertilization services during this time ensure that dormant trees receive ample nutrients to help kick-start growth as we head into the summer months.

Summer Care

Hot periods and long days means that trees and shrubs need ample watering. Better hydration and summer care creates healthier, stronger, pest-resistant trees and shrubs.

Why Plant Health Care: our clients, their families, and pets can enjoy spending more time outside with the peace of mind knowing their landscapes are safely maintained. Emerald Arborists take the guess work out of our clients hands, such as knowing which custom blend & deep root fertilization to apply, mulching, pest control and so much more.

Prior to leaves exhibiting yellowing, shriveling, dropping or other symptoms, an arborist can help inspect and treat trees to prevent further damage from insects and summer storms.

Fall Care

As cooler, crisper temperatures return to our area, untreated problems could turn into liabilities during hurricane and winter storm season.

Why Plant Health Care: PHC programs ensure that trees and shrubs are pruned and protected from seasonal storms, which have increased in the tri-state area over the past few years. Our technicians focus pruning as well as many other treatments during this time, because this is when a trees’ branching structure is most visible. Pruning, as well as late-season pest control help our clients’ trees and shrubs grow healthier, heartier blooms in the spring. Pruning during the fall prevents diseases from spreading, keeping surrounding plants healthy and happy.

As a new year approaches, we hope you will consider signing up for our PHC Program if you haven’t done so already. Not only are our custom-made programs a great investment for the health and safety of your home, but plant health care services help improve your neighborhood for years to come.

7 Benefits of Pruning Ornamental Trees & Shrubs

At Emerald, we prune trees and shrubs during the fall for a variety of reasons. This season is one of the best times of year to see branching structures, along with less chance of transmitting diseases or attracting insects to fresh pruning wounds.

There are also many long-term benefits property owners receive when pruning during the fall. Safety, health, and control are just a few of the reasons our team focuses on this late-season treatment. Other benefits include:

  • Training young plants. Pruning can help train young plants to enhance their natural form. By cutting back lateral branches, a tree or shrub can be trained to grow into the desired shape, fill an open area caused by storm damage, or keep the plant within a certain area on your property
  • Maintaining plant health and appearance. Diseased, injured, or dead plants should be removed. As trees mature, their root systems may reduce. This results in the crown to thin, helping the tree re-establish the balance between a treetop and roots. Pruning will ensure the existing root structure is supported by the leaves on your trees and/or shrubs
  • Influence flowering. Pruning can help stimulate flowering. As plants mature they produce more fruit, but often via smaller buds. Pruning can reduce the amount of energy a plant expends and in turn, divert its resources into growing larger, fewer flowers and fruit
  • Controlling size. Pruning not only benefits the health of your plantings, but it can impact the safety of your environment. Overgrown trees and shrubs can interfere with utility lines, decrease the visibility of road signs or traffic, limit pest control and more. Pruning causes certain shoots (the part of the plant which has a stem, leaves and flowers) to become invigorated when neighboring shoots are removed. The reason? Nutrients and water from the root system are redirected into the remaining growth

  • Developing unnatural forms. A visually appealing tree or shrub can make a wonderful first impression on your home’s landscape. There are so many options to design almost any evergreen or deciduous tree to the shape that you wish, creating some of the best-shaped trees on your block. Prior to pruning, an expert should understand the natural growth habit of your planting and its response to pruning
  • Preventing injury to people and property. Unfortunately, we see too many stories of people or properties that are harmed due to hazardous, fallen tree limbs. Limbs and structures that are hanging over homes or parking areas are very dangerous and should be removed. The removal of trees, limbs, and other structures that take place off the ground should always be done by a professional arborist
  • Rejuvenate old shrubs. Have you noticed your old shrubs looking a little dull or lackluster? Pruning removes sparse or twiggy mature branches, which can increase flower production. Hard pruning for shrubs can also result in vibrant colors, especially for those known for colorful bark like yellow twig or red osier dogwood.
Yellow Twig and Red Osier Dogwood

If incorporated into a maintenance plan, the pruning of ornamental shrubs and trees can improve the overall health of your plantings. At Emerald, we improve the vigor and longevity of our clients’ plantings by micromanaging the growth process. Our highly trained technicians combine various practices, including tree pruning, yearly hand pruning, maintenance pruning and developmental pruning to ensure that all of our clients’ plantings maintain and restore their health.

Emerald Tree Care & COVID-19 Information

The health and well-being of our clients, employees, and community is our top priority. With the continued and ever-changing news about COVID-19, we want to share information about how our team is working to ensure your landscape is handled appropriately and safely.

Transparency is of the utmost importance, so below are a few of the FAQ’s below we’ve received from our clients and community members:

What does your industry say about safety during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) have partnered to issue guidance to assist the green industry.  To read their complete statement, please click here.

Is Emerald considered an “essential business”?

Yes. Emerald Tree Care provides essential services such as storm clean-up, ensuring roads and powerlines are clear so that health care providers, food suppliers and others can continue to provide essential services. We also ensure public safety through tree risk evaluations, invasive species detection and pest mitigation.

As we face a potential second-wave, what is Emerald’s response plan?

Emerald is prepared to continue operations and respond to your needs, questions, and concerns. Should circumstances change, we will contact you directly.

As we approach 2021, which services are most important?

The fall is a critical time to care for your landscape due to hurricane season, late-season pests, and impending winter storm damage. This year, families are spending more time at home, sheltering in place, which means we are spending more time ensuring the safety of our clients landscapes through:

Pruning services. For safety reasons, we keep your trees and homes safe by removing dead or decaying branches on your property.

Hazardous tree removal. Dead or decaying trees can threaten the safety of your family and your home. High winds, storms or other natural elements can cause lose branches to severely damage your property.

Pest management. Late-season pests can cause havoc to your precious greens. Insects that feed, burrow, lay eggs, and more damage trees, shrubs, and outdoor spaces. If not treated properly, substantial damage can occur.

Leaf disease treatment. The best time to treat certain diseases like Oak Wilt is in the fall and winter months. Treatment by an expert Arborist can help save your valuable plantings, preventing costly and unnecessary removal.

Preparing for Winter: A Fall Landscape Checklist

October is the perfect month to check off last-minute landscaping items from your to-do list. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean it’s time to give up on your garden or landscape! There are plenty of essential tasks required to ensure trees and shrubs are prepared to weather the winter months ahead.

Combined with the help of a Plant Health Care (PHC) Manager, you can help your property shine next spring. Below are 19 items to take care of before it gets too cold:


  • #1: Work with an arborist to evaluate areas in your garden or landscape that need replacement, treatment, or enhancements. (p.s.- this is a complimentary service we provide for our PHC clients 😊)
  • #2: Document by taking notes and pictures to have for future planting


*An Emerald arborist can help you take the grunt work out of maintenance. Their expert knowledge of seasonal, fall treatments can save you valuable time, resources, and money in preparing your landscapes for a healthier, stronger spring*

  • #3: Ask your arborist if they’re aerating your lawn to promote root growth
  • #4: Mow your lawn regularly to keep grass between 2 ½ -3 inches high
  • #5: Have an arborist practice water-wise horticultural techniques
  • #6: If you have a compost pile, aerate and moisten it to speed up decomposition
  • #7: Consult an expert to inspect, treat, and remove last season pests. This includes removing fallen leaves, debris, and still water that can harbor insects and diseases
  • #8: Take in aquatic plants and tropical fish from ponds


  • #9: Plant shrubs, deciduous trees, and roses. Broad-leaved and needle-leaved trees can also be planted and transplanted during this time, as the cool weather encourages plants to root quickly
  • #10: Propagate herbs from new growth and transplant into pots for winter use
  • #11: Plant in a sheltered spot. Try to identify warm spots at the base of a south-facing wall
  • #12: Divide plants like Daylilies and Hosta after flowering. If the weather is already cool, begin planning spring-flowering bulbs (for example, wait until late October to plant tulip bulbs).
  • #13: Research before diving plants. Some species only require dividing every 4-6 years, while faster-growing plants like bearded iris can be divided every two to three years

Prune & Fertilize

  • #14: Prune plants and shrubs, like Rambling Roses, Japanese Boxwoods, Cherry Laurels, Yew, and more. Proper pruning will provide optimal growth come springtime.
  • #15: Prune trees. Pruning trees during the fall and dormant months helps reduce the risk of pests or diseases like oak wilt from spreading through open tree wounds. Arborists can help identify and treat problem areas.
  • #16: Compost. October is the perfect time to improve garden soil by adding organic manner such as compost, measure, and/or leaf mold to improve garden soil
  • #17: Enrich your soil. After your garden is dormant, spread a fresh layer of compost, manure, shredded leaves, or topsoil over the surface. The more the better!
  • #18: Fertilize roses one last time, along with lawns using organic fertilizer. A custom-made treatment will strengthen your landscape and stimulate root development throughout the winter
  • #19: Prevent frost damage. Pruning helps stimulate new growth, so removing frost-damaged parts will get rid of dead branches and stimulate new growth.

5 Advantages of Plant Health Care Services this Fall

As we pack up our grills and winterize our home for the upcoming months, it’s also so important to prioritize the health of your landscape. While our Plant Health Care (PHC) program is a year-round effort, fall serves as a pivotal time to ensure trees and shrubs are cared for properly, preparing them to be at their healthiest next spring.  

Our PHC clients reap many benefits. If you’re on the fence as to whether or not a PHC program is best for your landscapes’ needs, below are five reasons why the fall is the perfect time to join the party.

At Emerald, our Plant Health Care Program specifically helps:

Trees and Shrubs Recover from Summer Stress

Long days and hot temperatures can stress trees and make them susceptible to pest infestations, dehydration, and a lack of nutrients. Stressed trees and shrubs may show small leaves, pale green coloration of leaves, peeling bark, early leaf drop, and more.

PHC programs provide trees and shrubs with ingredients and nutrients to help them recover from active, hot summers. Many landscape problems are caused by poor soil quality, acidity imbalance, compaction, or other factors. Fertilization treatments applied during the fall helps trees and shrubs fight late-season pests while helping them recover from environmental diseases.

Treat Late-Season Insects  

Late season insects can wreak havoc on weakened, stressed trees. Harmful pests that are common during the fall season include Weevils, Aphids, Mites, and Scales.

At Emerald, we use products that are safe for adults, children, and pets, such as horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps, beneficial nematodes, etc. We value sustainable, quality methods in applying and treating these problems so that families and landscapes remain safe, always.

Protect from Hurricane Damage

We typically receive less emergency calls from PHC clients after heavy winds and intense rain caused by hurricanes. This summer, our crews visited numerous homes to remove fallen, uprooted trees.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an ‘extremely active’ hurricane season. A few things to consider:

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, wind damage is the most frequent homeowner insurance claim, accounting for 25% of all claims
  • Severe storm damage from of any type could result in recovery expenses ranging $10,000-$75,000. This might include the costs of rebuilding and replacing damaged roofs, kitchens, or entire structures of the home
  • While homeowner’s insurance usually covers trees that fall on your home and other structures, it rarely covers loss or damage caused by negligence, unhealthy or poorly maintained trees

PHC not only protects the health and longevity of trees and shrubs, but it can also prevent unnecessary costly damage to homes and landscapes

Prepare for Winter Storms

Heightened preparation for extreme, cold weather in our area takes place during the fall. PHC programs involve custom treatments and techniques. For example, expert pruning during the fall helps trees vibrantly bloom when spring arrives.

Arborists diagnose problems before they become dangerous with the help of PHC services. Inspecting trees while leaves are off, soil injections, applications, and other stimulants applied throughout the fall ensure plants are winter-ready.

Receive Year-Round Insurance

While fall may be a less active than the summer, every season has a impact on your trees and shrubs. Preventative maintenance now will ensure that landscapes return strong an healthy when spring arrives.

At Emerald, our PHC program provides you with peace of mind (all year!) knowing that your precious greens are protected. We have the resources, equipment, treatment, and experts to ensure your landscapes remain healthy and reslient.

Diversify Your Garden to Fight Pests, Naturally

Did you know that you can create (or enhance) your garden to naturally fight pests? Diversifying your landscape with more plant species can enhance the environment and attract pollinators that serve as natural ‘enemies’ to common garden pests.

Below are four ways to diversify your garden and enable natural enemies that will protect your gardens year-round.

Understand What Natural Enemies Want

Natural enemies provide biological control and under optimal conditions, they prevent plant-feeding herbivores from reaching ‘pest’ levels. By diversifying your garden, you are essentially giving natural enemies a habitat that allows them to survive and increase.

This means finding plants that create optimal conditions for these insects to obtain food, shelter, favorable temperatures, and habitats that are free of toxic chemicals. Many athletically pleasing, commonly grown flowers include the sunflower, cosmos blanket flower, and the coreopsis plant. Find groups of flowers that bloom at different times to provide natural enemies with sources of nectar throughout the growing season.

Plan Before You Purchase

Before you head to your local garden center, ensure that your landscape will serve more than one purpose. For example, your garden might: prevent soil erosion, replenish nutrients in the soil, support beneficial insects, grow your own food, etc. Also, consider color, the season of bloom, shape, and what flowering plants will help attract natural enemies.

Studies show that not only do flowering plants reduce the population of lace bugs, but their attractiveness also lends to their ability to support both natural enemies and pollinators.

Consider These Flowering Plants

Below are a few examples of flowering plants that provide season-long blooms and nectar for pollinators.  These bright, beautiful greens also attract a diverse group of natural enemies that can help fight common garden pests:

Shasta daisies. These flat open flowers are attractive to larger enemies such as flower flies and spiders.

Alyssum. This plant has clusters of very small flowers. Alyssum may be ideal for small wasps that attack scale insects and aphids.

Monarda. These have tubular flowers that are attractive to larger predatory wasps that hunt and kill caterpillars and white grubs in the soil.

Coneflowers. These are excellent resources for native and non-native bees like honeybees. Coneflowers also attract predatory beetles whose larvae are predators of soil-dwelling pests and other soft-bodied pests on plants.

Avoid Spraying Pesticides

At Emerald, our Plant Health Care Program is a year-round, all-inclusive method that protects your landscapes from damaging insects and diseases. Spraying pesticides is not only harmful to the environment but is a counterproductive measure if you’ve invested in a diverse garden.

Our trained technicians at Emerald will visit your property several times each year, scout your gardens for pest problems, and apply safe and environmentally responsible methods to your plants.

Seven Insects that Destroy Beautiful Landscapes  

While summer is a popular vacation time for humans, insects are hard at work. Summer garden pests are most active during this time, and this is when pest management goes into full swing.

Whether you are growing a culinary herb garden, or an Eco-friendly landscape filled with flowers and shrubs, below are a few of the common pests that can prevent your outdoor spaces from flourishing:

Two-Spotted Spider Mite

The eight‑legged female mites are yellow to dark green with two to four dark dorsal spots. At 1/60 of an inch, they are almost microscopic. Males are smaller with more pointed abdomens. 

How can they affect my plants? This mite is a problem for outdoor roses, miniature, and cut flowers. They become particularly troublesome during midsummer dry spells and on plants growing under adverse conditions. Damage appears as pale flecks on leaves, which in severe cases turns leaves yellow, brown and in turn fall off.

Oystershell Scale

These crawlers are shaped like an elongated oyster shell and hatch in early July. Their hosts include apple, lilac, ash, willow, popular maple, and dogwood.

How can they affect my plants? Once they are settled on permanent locations along twigs and stems, this scale feeds on the fluids of cells underlying the bark, often killing the cells. During heavy outbreaks, they can weaken plants, making them more susceptible to pathogens and possible plant death.

Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is so named for its emerald green color. This pest is an invasive, wood-boring beetle that feeds on and eventually kills all species of Ash.

How can they affect my plants? EAB creates a thinning or dying of ash tree crowns, splitting bark, tunneling under the bark, D-shaped exit holes and woodpecker activity. Small trees can die as soon as one to two years after infestation. Larger infested trees can survive for three to four years.

Boxwood Psyllid

Adults are light green insects that are about 3 mm long. Both nymphs and adults have piercing-sucking mouthparts. These adult pests are now visible in the NYC area according to Don Gabel of the New York Botanical Garden and. Amy Albam from Westchester CCE said the nymphs were forming wings in her area.

How can they affect my plants? Feeding damage is very noticeable due to leaf cupping that young nymphs produce on plants. Occasionally, young twig growth is affected by this species. These leaves are weakened and will usually fall off after about one year. Terminal growth will be affected for about two years.

Rhododendron Borer

This pest is a clearwing moth that somewhat resembles a wasp. The borer is pale yellow with a dark head and about ½ inch long.

How can they affect my plants? They mainly attack rhododendrons along with azaleas. Borer’s chew holes in the inner bark of plants and forms long tunnels in the branches. By late fall, it enters the sapwood where it survives the winter. They infest main stems and branches as well. Leaves on infested branches are often off-color and wilted. Damage and activity in the northeast was apparent in June.

Black Vine Weevil

The adult black vine weevil is black with subtle white flecking, oblong, 3/8 of an inch long, and has a short snout. All are female and unable to fly.

How can they affect my plants? These pests attack over 100 different kinds of ornamental plants including rhododendrons, azaleas, yews and hemlocks. When weevils enter your house, greenhouse or indoor gardens, they can be damaging to begonias, ferns and other popular potted plants.

Taxus Mealybug

The Taxus Mealybug is a white, fuzzy-looking insect that sucks the sap from needles and stems. The excreted honeydew makes a sticky coating on the stems and needles. Black sooty mold will grow on the honeydew.

How can they affect my plants? Infested plants may have sparse foliage, depending on the severity of the infestation. Heavy deposits of honeydew will cause much sooty mold that blocks sunlight and interferes with photosynthesis. The insects are usually found where branches join.

How Can I Protect My Landscape!?

Horticultural oil treatments for preventative treatment, along with continuous monitoring can help keep protect your landscape. Most of the time, identifying an infestation requires a trained eye. Our certified arborists specialize in preventative care and continuous monitoring, utilizing the most environmentally sensitive and effective products. They will prescribe a treatment plan that will keep infestations at bay all summer long.

To prevent summer pest damage or for a summer landscape check-up, call us at  914-725-0441 or email

Be on the lookout for Emerald Ash Borer

emerald ash borer

These pretty little green bark beetles are smaller than a dime, but are capable of taking down an ash tree that is thousands of times its size.  First spotted in the United States in 2002, the population of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has grown quickly and has made its way to the Northeast with infestations in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Their life cycle

Emerald Ash Borer Adults usually come out in the middle of May, or earlier if the weather is particularly warm. The females will then less eggs, which are hard to spot since they are a reddish brown color and only 1/24 inch.  In just 7-10 days, those eggs will hatch and the larvae, which is white in color, burrows itself into the inner bark and cambial layer of the Ash Tree.  Here it will remain feeding and traveling throughout the tree leaving “s-shaped” marks on the bark for 1-2 years. Once it’s done feeding, it will carve out a nesting area in the bark, and it will rest throughout the winter until it emerges as an actual beetle.

emerald ash borer

What is the threat?

Ash trees are one of the most valuable and abundant North American Woodland Trees. Emerald Ash Borer moves quickly and has already destroyed 40 million ash trees in Michigan alone, where it was first discovered in Detroit.  With over 7 billion ash trees existing in the United States, we face a potentially devastating loss.

What you can do

Get familiar with how to identify an Ash Tree and look carefully for thinning or dying Ash Tree crowns.  The tunneling mark left on the bark by the larvae is also an easy to spot sign of infestation. If you see one, DO NOT REMOVE IT, scrape it off, put it in a Ziploc and send to the USDA for testing.  You can also call the Emerald Ash Borer Hotline at 1-866-322-4512.


Here at Emerald Tree and Shrub Care, we developed a comprehensive treatment plan to protect your Ash Trees from this highly invasive bark beetle. The first step is to inject your Ash Trees in Late Spring with a preventative treatment called Tree-Age.  This treatment will protect your Ash Tree for up to two full years.  As an added precaution, we recommend a merit soil drench once during peak growing season.  The merit treatment lasts for one year, and is therefore prescribed annually.  Want to sign up for Emerald Ash Borer Protection? Call us today at 914-725-0441.