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Aurora Tree Care Tips: Six Signs of ALB Tree Infestation

Aurora Tree Care

The Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) is between 2 and 4 centimeters in length, and has a jet-black body with white spots. They have very long antennae with bands of black and white. This exotic looking beetle is responsible for infesting and killing thousands of trees, and has the potential to destroy millions of acres of hardwood trees in both Canada and the United States.

Because they are most active during summer and fall, now is a good time to check your trees for signs of ALB infestation. Both the beetles and their signs can be seen. If you believe any of your hardwood trees harbor these pests, contact your Aurora tree care specialist for help. Here are six signs to look for:

  • Chewed oval depressions in the bark. These are called oviposition pits, each of which host a single beetle egg. When Asian Longhorned Beetles have been very active on a tree, these oviposition pits give the bark a pocked appearance, which is most noticeable after the tree's foliage has fallen in the fall.
  • Perfectly round holes in the tree. These holes are pencil sized and serve as the exit holes for adult beetles after maturing from pupae within the tree.
  • Hollow bark. Larvae feeding within the tree's sapwood causes the bark to eventually separate from this layer. This produces a hollowed out area beneath the bark.
  • Sawdust buildup. This sawdust is actually the larvae's excrement (frass), which is found on branches or at the base of the tree. Absence of frass doesn't prove that your tree isn't infested because rain or wind can remove frass buildup.
  • Branch death. Extensive infestation results in branch death, which often starts at the tree top and progresses down the tree. Damage of this sort clearly indicates that something is wrong. Check for additional signs listed above.
  • Adult feeding. Adult beetles eat the leaves, leaf stems, and twigs.

If you spot ALB infestation or suspect its presence, we recommend prompt action to prevent its spread. Have an Aurora tree care specialist give the tree a complete inspection. Contact us at Advanced Tree Care for more information.