Trees Disease

Ash Borer Disease

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle causes the aptly named, Ash Borer Disease. The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a species of metallic wood-boring beetle native to East Asia, including China and the Russian Far East.

Most species of North American ash trees are very vulnerable to this beetle, which has killed millions of trees in Canada in forested and urban areas.

If you find cream-colored larvae or metallic green adult beetles, similar in size to a grain of cooked rice, your ash trees may be infested, and you will need the help of a professional tree service company. If you call the Treekeepers, we will do everything we can to save the trees that have been impacted.

Symptoms of a tree infested with Ash Borer Disease:

  • Sparse leaves and dead branches in the upper tree canopy
  • Tree bark that’s split vertically, often revealing S-shaped tunnels
  • Excessive sprouting at the base or lower areas of the tree trunk
  • A sudden influx of woodpeckers which feed on EAB larvae
  • Feeding damage to leaves and D-shaped holes from bark exits


  • Emerald ash borer infestations cause significant ecological and economic impacts in forested and urban habitats.
  • In forest habitats, losing most ash trees can affect tree species composition, natural forest succession, and nutrient cycling. Habitats also become more vulnerable to invasion by exotic plants.
  • After an infestation remaining beetles can kill new growth, jeopardizing forest recovery.
  • In urban areas, infestations have killed tens of thousands of ash trees planted in parks and along streets.
  • Municipal governments are responsible for removing dead ash trees on municipal land. Ash trees that are affected should be chemically treated or removed and replaced, which can be a significant economic burden.
  • Losing urban canopy can increase homeowner heating/cooling costs and can affect people with health issues such as respiratory illnesses.

Mountain Pine Beetles

Mountain pine beetles (MPB) are synonymous with devastating tree damage. Once a tree is infested with MPB, there’s not a whole lot that anyone can do to save it. The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) is a wood-boring insect native to western North America and attacks a wide range of pine trees.

The mountain pine beetle (MPB) has many natural predators including insects, parasitoids, and woodpeckers. However, these enemies do not have sufficient impact to effectively control new or outbreak populations.

Picture of beetle below:


Signs & Symptoms of Mountain Pine Beetles

Even after taking all the precautions possible, you’re not out of the woods. A massive infestation at a neighboring property or nearby park could still spread to your healthy trees. You’ll want to look for:

  • Resin masses on the trunk where mountain pine beetles are tunneling. These are shaped like popcorn and may be brown, white, or pink in color.
  • Signs of woodpeckers – they will tear off tree bark to access and feed on MPB. Look for stripped patches and bark debris on the ground below your tree.
  • The entire tree crown, basically the body of your pine tree and all foliage, will turn yellowish or reddish. This typically happens months into an attack.
  • If you have a strong suspicion, you can use a hatchet to carefully remove the bark and look for mountain pine beetle eggs, larvae, and adults.
  • Once a tree has been cut down, a final confirmation can be found by looking at the tree’s cut trunk where a certain point in its circumference will be stained blue.

For short-term control of mountain pine beetles, the Treekeepers might cover, burn or peel attacked trees to kill the bugs. We will discuss all options and help you choose the best avenue for dealing with an MPB attack.


  • Since the early 1990s, the beetle has attacked 50% of the total volume of commercial lodgepole pine in British Columbia
  • By 2017, the total cumulative loss of pine that could have been sold was estimated at 752 million cubic meters (58% of sellable pine volume)
  • Efforts to control MPB outbreaks have been successful in reducing populations and slowing spread
  • As the beetle spreads into new areas of the boreal forest, there are many new questions such as how quickly populations spread and what impacts on forest ecology, as well as economic and social values will occur.