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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Arbortech is a great business to deal with. They did a big job quickly, professionally, and left our property in good condition. Lindsey, Justin, and their crews were all terrific. Highly recommend.
Laura Flavell
Laura Flavell
I needed to have a large Norway maple tree removed and wanted to get at least three estimates. Eric's tree service came out and gave me a somewhat reasonable quote of $3500, then a week later before I had gotten another estimate from a different company Eric's tree service texted me and said they'd be in the area the following week, I called them and they said they had to revisit the estimate. They came back out continued to tell me her personal problems and that my neighbor would have to move his trailer. She then sent me a new quote of $7231!!! I called Arbortech and Justin came over on the day scheduled and was my most reasonable quote! He also said my neighbor wouldn't need to move his trailer. Justin and his crew arrived on time and did a phenomenal job!! They are true professionals! They cleaned up everything. They had had to remove a fence panel and when they put it back it was more secure than it had been when it had been originally installed. Justin's quote was $4700 less than Eric's! This experience with Arbortech was purely positive I highly recommend this company! Thank you Justin, Lindsey and the rest of the crew, you guys rock!!
ILost MyShoe
ILost MyShoe
The service I received from everyone at Arbortech for a tree removal was absolutely wonderful. Any questions and concerns I had were answered and reassured. Justin and Lindsey were both so helpful and the value I paid for this service was outstanding. Super reasonable, and I would recommend Arbortech to anyone in need of any tree service. Super grateful and happy. If I could figure out how to add pictures to my review, I would. They did an incredible job with not just the tree removal itself, but also with a brush pile I also had taken care of. Again, highly recommend Arbortech for anyone who is in need of any type of tree service. Couldn’t be more pleased!
Teresa Brown
Teresa Brown
We spoke with Lindsey via phone after sending her pictures of an ornamental tree we thought was in distress. She was able to tell us what it was & how to address the problem...right over the phone! She was very professional and knowledgeable. Will definitely call/hire for any future problems.
Barbara Evans
Barbara Evans
Seven difficult to access trees cut down in one day. All debris was removed and the yard was left in great condition. I have used Arbortech in the past and will continue to use them whenever I need work done with the trees.
Yvonne Brennan
Yvonne Brennan
Great service
Kevin Randino
Kevin Randino
Extremely friendly, responsive and willing to work with you. We went with Justin because in the short time we met him, he showed a real passion and knowledge for tree grooming. We have a weeping maple that was seriously neglected for over a decade. It was growing into itself and unable to properly expand. Justin immediately caught the core issues with it and trimmed it into a beautiful manageable condition. He was fast, efficient and showed a real care in the detail work. Would absolutely recommend Arbortech to anyone in need of tree work!
Louis MacLellan
Louis MacLellan
One word. AWESOME!!! We had 4 trees removed on our property. From start to finish what we witnessed was true professionalism. To Justin, Lindsey, and crew. Thank you!!!
JanIce Trombley
JanIce Trombley
Arbor tech was very professional, they did a wonderful job at a very reasonable price . They were very pleasant to work with
Michelle Hunt
Michelle Hunt
We had Justin and his crew remove several trees that were overgrown and had potential to fall near our home. They were on time, efficient and left our yard spotless. I would highly recommend Arbortech if you are looking for a professional tree expert!