Tree Damaging Insects In Michigan
Here in the great state of Michigan, we cherish our trees. These mighty giants can last for generations, providing us with shade, clean air, and aesthetic beauty. As mighty and invincible as trees may seem they can be brought down by the tiniest of foes: tree damaging insects.
Insects may be small but, in large numbers, they can cause a lot of damage to a tree. There are many types of insects that can harm trees such as wood-boring insects that burrow into the bark of the tree and disrupt the flow of water and nutrients; and then there are insects that can damage the foliage of the tree, making trees weak or stunted.
The signs of an early infestation of tree damaging insects may not be visible in the first few years, but as it progresses you may start to see yellowing of leaves, branch dieback, and exit holes in the wood.
Aphids are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can cause extensive damage to a wide range of trees and shrubs. Their feeding patterns disrupt young tissue which can weaken and distort the tree. Their excrement, known as honeydew, can bring about sooty mold.
Carpenter ants are the most loathed and damaging ants in Michigan. The only thing worse than seeing them crawling up and down your trees is seeing them crawling up and down the walls of your house. Carpenter ants are aptly named because they are attracted to trees that are old or damaged that have a lot of decaying wood.
It’s important to know that carpenter ants don’t contribute to the decline of branches or wood. They simply burrow through soft, decaying wood to make their nests and tunnels. This can weaken the tree, preventing it from gaining strength, and make parts of it vulnerable to high winds.
To eliminate carpenter ants sprinkle ant powder around the base of the tree. This makes sure that any ant going up or down will be killed by the poison.
Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is one of the most feared tree damaging insects in North America. This tiny unassuming insect is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America and 30 million ash trees in southwestern Michigan alone. In response, the USDA has enforced quarantines and fines to prevent the transport of infected wood across state lines in an effort to contain this nasty bug. Once a tree is infested with the ash borer it can take 3 to 4 years for the tree to die.
Asian Longhorned Beetle
Asian longhorned beetles are not a threat to Michigan… yet but they have already devastated tens of thousands of trees in our neighbor to the south, Ohio. They can attack and species of hardwood but are quite fond of the sugar maple, a very common and beloved tree here in Michigan.
Hire A Professional Arborist
If you have dead or infected trees it’s vital that you remove the tree as soon as possible to prevent the beetles from infecting other trees.