Emerald Ash Borer in Pittsfield

The Emerald Ash Borer has affected Berkshire County for a number of years.  This year, we expect the beetles to have a greater impact on the trees in Pittsfield.  As this unfortunate blight enters Pittsfield, there are a number of items to be aware of to help protect our own trees as well as trees outside of Pittsfield from this invasive beetle.

ash borer pic 


Signs and Symptoms:
 

What do Emerald Ash Borers look like?

Adult Emerald Ash Borers are bright, metallic green with purple abdominal segments beneath the wing covers.  They are about ½ inch long and have flattened backs. The larvae are a creamy white and legless.    They have a flattened, bell-shaped body.

ash borer pic 
 

What happens to trees infested with Emerald Ash Borers?

Trees infested with Emerald Ash Borers have canopy dieback starting with the top on-third of the canopy and then progressing downwards until the tree is bare. Sprouts might grow from roots and the trunk of the tree and their leaves often appear larger than normal. The bark of the tree will either split or show signs of serpentine or D-shaped patterns (caused by the larval feeding).  One might also notice increased woodpecker activity in the infested trees.  The birds feed on the larvae/pupae and will create large holes in order to extract the insects. 

Laws:

It is illegal to transport wood infested with the Emerald Ash Borer across the state lines.  State officials also encourage residents to make an effort to not transport any infested wood at all, even within Massachusetts.  This precautionary measure helps to protect areas not yet infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. 

What can you do?

If you notice a city owned tree that is infected please notify Tom Foody the city street compliance inspector at tfoody@pittsfieldch.com . If you need help determining if the affected tree is city owned or on private property, you can visit the city web site at www.cityofpittsfield.org  and find the property search tool on the bottom left hand side of the page. When you click this link it will bring you to the property search tool. Insert the address and then go to the lower right hand side of the next page and select aerial photo 2011 from the map themes section. 

The best way to dispose of the infested wood is to burn it in a camp fire or to chip it to a size of 1 inch or less which has been shown to kill the larvae. 

Additional Contacts:
Ken Gooch
Massachusetts DCR
Forest Health Program Supervisor
413-687-1724