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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Garren Averett
Garren Averett
These guys are FANTASTIC. Justin, Lindsey, their entire crew really great!! When Justin stopped by to take a look, he listened to what we wanted to accomplish, made suggestions on what to take, leave or just trim. His crew came as expected, did a GREAT job!! If it wasn't for the sign and missing trees you would never have known they were here. I could go on and on. Thank you!!!
I used Arbortech Tree Inc., to remove some trees in my yard. This Company was unbelievably awesome, from first call to final clean up. Thank you Arbortech, you will be getting more business from me in the near future... and an A+ recommendation to whomever ask or needs Tree Removal. Thanks Mike Gosselin (Coventry)
Bob Sheryl Kelly
Bob Sheryl Kelly
We were so impressed with the whole team from Arbortech. Justin the owner was the first to respond to our quotes and was a pleasure to speak with, the office people, Lindsey, kept us up to date and we had the 'A' Team - Paul, Pete and Eric. The best way for me to describe the 'A' team is they are like artists. From their skill to their coordination to friendliness and beautiful clean up. . Marvel to watch. Would highly recommend this company and will use again in the future.
Patricia Cortes
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Very Happy with their customer service. There was a large dead tree pretty near my garage, the neighbor's garage, and another neighbor's home that really needed to get taken down. They came out and had it down in a few hours, had everything cleaned up right after. I plan to use them again myself and would definitely recommend them!
Roxanne Oakley
Roxanne Oakley
This is the second time we have used Arbortech to trim and cut down trees in our yard. After taking his time looking at the trees in question, Justin gave us his professional opinion as an arborist as to the work that needed to be done. The job was scheduled and the crew arrived promptly and did an amazing job! Paul accomplished much of this high up in the bucket equipment because of the height of the trees that needed to be taken down. It was incredible watching the men all work together. At the end of the job, the yard was cleaned up and the crew made sure we were happy with all their work. As an added bonus, we got a follow up call to make sure all had gone well, something you don't encounter much anymore! I highly recommend Arbortech for their knowledge and professionalism!!
Brendan O'Brien
Brendan O'Brien
I have used Arbortech now multiple times at my house and wouldn't use any other tree service company. Justin is fantastic to work with, he and his team were always incredibly professional, helpful, knowledgeable and just great to work with. For our most recent job, both Justin and Lindsey worked with us to meet a tight deadline for some other work we were having completed. Thank you again for all your help, we really appreciate it!!
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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
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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!
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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!