What’s With All the Dead/Dying Trees? A Closer Look at Emerald Ash Borers

Published On: December 28th, 20213.7 min read

Communities across America’s East Coast are worried about their trees. In the past three years, rates of tree disease and early decline have increased to a noticeable degree. What’s going on?

Three common threats to American trees are gypsy moths, emerald ash borers, and drought. All three challenges are more prevalent than they used to be, thanks to climate change.

What makes these three threats so deadly? And what can Connecticut residents do to protect our trees?

Dying Trees Suffer From Emerald Ash Borers 

The emerald ash borer, or EAB, is a jewel-green beetle native to Asia. It has been working its way across the continent.  First spotted in Connecticut in 2012, it’s become a menace to regional ash trees.

Mature EABs lay eggs under the bark of ash trees. Once born, the beetle larvae feed on the cambium (or vascular layer) of the tree. By doing this they cut off the nutrient transportation system of the tree causing a quick decline in health.

In 2018, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities raised the alarm about this invasive species.

By that time, the EAB had become a public safety problem. Emerald ash borers kill trees at a rapid pace. Then, they spread to the next tree.

More Gypsy Moths and More Dead Trees

Gypsy Moths are another highly destructive species that Connecticut trees have to contend with. Native to Europe, Gypsy Moths first arrived in the US in 1869, by a silkworm enthusiast who thought it could be a hardy producer of silk.

Gypsy Moths have a voracious appetite for the leaves of many species of trees. They especially prefer oak, but will readily consume beech, birch, elm, maples, and more.  A strong population of gypsy moths can devour all the leaves on a tree in weeks, weakening them and causing them to be susceptible to other environmental threats.

Gypsy moth populations are cyclical.  For many years they will not pose a threat; however, over the course of several years the population grows and an outbreak is eventual.  The most recent outbreak in 2017 and 2018 has left many homeowners and municipalities with severely compromised trees on their property.

Droughts Rank Among Top Reasons For Dead Trees in Connecticut

Droughts accelerated the decline of many Connecticut trees. Connecticut experienced droughts from 2012 to mid-2017. The state also suffered from multiple severe, “polar vortex” winters in the past ten years.

These extreme weather cycles are hard on trees. Arborists say droughts, in particular, seem to age trees considerably.

Now, many Eastern Connecticut communities are struggling to deal with thousands of dead trees. Most of these died before their time.

These are just some of the threats our CT trees face.  The agricultural station and DEEP are always looking ahead at potential threats.  Spotted Lantern Fly, Southern Pine Beetle, and Beech Leaf Disease are just a few of the things we are keeping our eye on for the future.

Dying Trees Pose Dangers: Avoid Hazards With Pro Removal

Dead and dying trees aren’t just sad to see. They also pose a danger to our communities.

When a tree is dead, it’s fragile.

Weakened, trees can collapse abruptly. A single white ash tree can weigh thousands of pounds. If it falls without warning, it can be lethal.

And this isn’t hypothetical. According to OSHA, roughly 100 people die every year in tree-fall accidents.

Dead trees are also a fire hazard. The drier a tree is, the quicker it will catch flame in a wildfire.

Many dead trees in one space act like kindling. Recently, environmental scientists analyzed the deadliest wildfires. Their reports revealed that clusters of dead trees significantly contributed to the spread.

So, it’s critical to remove dead trees. But how?

DIY vs. Pro Tree Removal

Amateur tree removal is dangerous. Without professional training, you aren’t prepared for hazards. People who’ve removed trees on their own have suffered injuries from:

  • Hidden power lines
  • Outdated equipment
  • Personal injury hazards
  • Wood rot and decay
  • Abrupt treefall

The best thing to do is keep yourself and your community safe. Connect with a professional. The pros can remove trees safely.

Trees Thrive With Arbortech

Our community’s trees matter. Protect your trees from emerald ash borers, gypsy moths, and other parasites. And, when they can’t be saved, remove dead and dying trees safely.

Arbortech’s professional services get the job done right. Do you need to clear away hazardous trees? Talk to our pros today, and get a free project assessment.

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Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly
Another fantastic job by Justin's biz: Arbortech Tree Inc. Today 3 guys came and cut up and stacked a bunch of 8'-10'' lengths of the trees that were felled a couple of months ago. These guys don't rest until the work is done. They worked efficiently and safely. Totally recommend these guys. Thanks!!
Jennifer Todisco
Jennifer Todisco
Arbortech just took down three trees in my yard and I couldn’t be more pleased! Great price, came when they promised, and cleaned up so it looked like the trees had never been there! Highly recommend!
Carrie Kelley
Carrie Kelley
Excellent service from start to finish!
Michele Pellegrino
Michele Pellegrino
We've used Arbortech Tree for two large jobs at our property. They were great to work with. Their team was well skilled with handling the removal of large trees that were near our home. They communicated well throughout the scheduling of the job. I would highly recommend Arbortech!
Bruce Gregoire
Bruce Gregoire
Professional, Skilled, Outstanding Customer Service, Reliable, Competitively Priced. March 15, 2022 Starting last October 2021, I had been trying to have five trees taken down in Thompson, Connecticut (northeast corner of the state) for my mother-in-law. I had spoken with a number of the local tree removal contractors in the northeast area. I spoke with four contractors over a period of two months, but only two of them came out and looked at the job; and only one provided me with a verbal quote. I spoke with him and set a date to remove the trees. The day came and they did not show up. I was finally able to speak with them two-weeks later after leaving multiple voicemails. They stated they would set another date for the removal and get back to me. Then silence. In January I reached out to Arbortech (Justin & Lindsey) as they had done tree work for me in the past at my home in Coventry. Arbortech went out to Thomson, looked at the job, and provided me with a quote for removal. Even though it was out of their normal work area, Justin stated he "liked a challenge" and this job was! Multiple trees close to the house, all with large limbs over the roof area, neighbors fixed gazebo below one of the trees, and limited access. We set a date, They showed up, the electric company showed up to drop the power lines and they got to work. By the end of the day the job was done. Justin and crew made it look like just another routine tree removal. I was duly impressed and awed at their skill and professionalism. Once again, when I need tree service, I know who to call first. If you need tree work, Arbortech should be at the top of your call list. 2019 Just had them take down 6 large tall trees for me, all surrounding my outbuilding and within 50 feet of my house. I chose Arbortech based on the reviews here. Needless to say, I made the right choice. If you need quality tree work at a reasonable price, consider Arbortech. I will be using them for future tree removal work.
Thomas Rotchford
Thomas Rotchford
Excellent customer service. Provided schedule in advance and arrived promptly. Employees were professional & courteous. Placed plywood on grass to minimize vehicle damage and did a great job of taking a rather large tree down.
Carol Moody
Carol Moody
Above and beyond expectations, could not be happier. Everyone we dealt with from our first meeting to completion was friendly, helpful and very professional
Bob Wilcox
Bob Wilcox
Very professional. They did a great job with cleanup and were a pleasure to deal with.
Donald Neff
Donald Neff
The people at Arbortec tree service were polite, very professional, hard working. Very pleased with there work. Highly recommend them.