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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greg v
greg v
Great team and very professional, they efficiently took down some large older trees that were dying and hanging over my house and in very difficult positions while also requiring them to manage traffic, I will definitely use them again in the future
Peter Kelly
Peter Kelly
I would give 6 Stars if I could. This is the third time I've used Justin and his crew of Arbortech. He and his crew go above and beyond in the services they provide. They do all, and then some, of what I contracted them to do. His crew is personable, professional, and tidy. They left my place cleaner than when they got here. Can't say enough. Use them. You won't be disappointed.
Tracy Cole
Tracy Cole
Great job…nice clean up!! Will use them again!!!
Roger Leardi
Roger Leardi
These guys are professionals. They came when they said they would, they were quick, neat and professional. They did exactly what they quoted. The crew was polite and friendly. I was super pleased with the service and would highly recommend them if you need tree service.
Venus Dickson
Venus Dickson
Arbor tech and their crew were amazing!!! Not only did I not have to wait a long time to schedule the work, but they also came on time the day of. The crew were friendly, professional and helpful. They went above and beyond what I expected them to do. They even cleaned up afterwards as if they weren’t even there. The price I was quoted was reasonable and they did not charge more than was quoted. The whole experience was fantastic. I will be using them in the future. I highly recommend them! You will not be disappointed.
Pamela Hayden
Pamela Hayden
Absolutely the very best. They arrived on time. The yard was taken care of and left in perfect shape. They did everything we asked ……we will definitely be using them again. The gentlemen doing the job were pleasant and professional.
Richard Roy
Richard Roy
All aspects of our experience with Arbortech were beyond expectation (5+ stars at all levels). From the scheduling process and ongoing coordination and discussions with Lindsey to the onsite discussions with Justin, and finally with the crew while the work was being done, we couldn't be happier. They listened, they provided insight to our project while remaining very sensitive to our privacy concerns with the trimming of our pines. In an evolving world where a lot of customer care seems to have vanished, we are grateful we found a company where it seems to be a core component of their values. HIGHLY RECOMMEND
Edward Figiela
Edward Figiela
That are a great company to work with would recommend them to all!!
Greer Cunningham
Greer Cunningham
From start to finish our experience with Arbortech was wonderful! Lindsey was extremely responsive and worked with us to set up both the estimate and schedule the work. She even communicated with our neighbor to coordinate the timing as we needed to use their driveway for the job. Justin came promptly to look at our trees, explained our options in a very clear an professional way, and gave us an extremely fair estimate. The guys who came and did the work did a really great job and cleaned up everything afterwards, so we (and our neighbor) were very happy. They were also very friendly and gracious even though they were working during a crazy heat wave- they appreciated the popsicles I gave them! I highly recommend Arbortech Tree Service!