John Packard has spent most of his life working in and enjoying the outdoors. During high school and after college he labored and lived on a 200 acre produce farm in Pennsylvania. In 1993 he moved permanently to Wisconsin, where he has gardened and landscaped ever since. As a partner in Mother Nature and Sons (1995-2002) he helped introduce natural garden design and organic maintenance to south-eastern Wisconsin. Since 2003 he has owned and operated Botanica Fine Gardens and Landscapes in Lake Geneva. Botanica emphasizes gardening in harmony with nature, land stewardship and horticultural best practice. John’s horticultural interests include: woodland and prairie restoration, vegetables, conifers, native plants, weed management, artisanal stonework, and enjoying the fruits of his labors with good friends, beer and music at the end of the day.
 

Recent Blog Posts

Mar 01
About this “Flow Hive” thing…  

Apr 19
Testing Positive for E.A.B.   (2 comments)

Aug 11
Party star Prunus persica: Kill the Baby Peaches II  

Jul 11
Gluttonous Green Goats   (2 comments)

Jul 05
Sandaled Stone Work  

Jun 22
Screen Door on the Solstice  

Jun 11
Kill the Baby Peaches   (2 comments)

Jun 02
Lilly’s Placenta Tree  

 

 

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Testing Positive for E.A.B.
by John Packard - posted 04/19/14

The test results are positive. The Ash trees at our home place in southeastern Wisconsin have Emerald Ash Borer.

 

 

Ever since Emerald Ash Borer (E.A.B.) became national news, I have eyed our hedgerow Ash trees and wondered “When?”  The pest was first discovered in north-west Ohio and south-eastern Michigan a decade ago. Initial efforts at eradication of the pest proved futile and millions of Green, White and ‘Autumn Puple’ Ash succumbed. Urban plantings, homeowner landscapes, and native forests all suffered equally.

 

Quarantines failed to stop E.A.B. from slowly working its way west to Wisconsin.  In fact, it is now believed that E.A.B. was predating upon Ash trees long before the pest was discovered and identified.  Little wonder then that efforts at eradicating E.A.B. and stopping its spread have failed miserably.

 

Last night wielding a roofing hammer and a nail puller I began prying back the bark around a D-shaped exit hole on the trunk of a sickly White Ash.  I was searching for galleries, the tell-tale tunnels left by wood-boring insects.  Instead, after a few savage scrapes I spotted a flat white worm on the end of the nail puller.

 

 

There are many less lethal native wood-boring insects that attack Ash trees, especially trees under stress.  Emerald Ash Borer by contrast is an exotic pest with no known predators to control it in North America. E.A.B. also attacks both healthy and sickly Ash trees indiscriminately.  So even though I had found the larva of a wood-boring insect, the larva still required accurate identification to confirm it was E.A.B.

 

The larval stage of Emerald Ash Borer has an indistinct head, distinct prothorax, no legs or prolegs on thorax or abdomen, and urogomphi on tail. The larvae of flatheaded borers such as EAB are highly flattened and have a tapeworm-like profile. Link to EAB Look-Alikes

 

Under the microscope I was able to observe these characteristics, confirming that in fact the Ash trees at Applewood are infested with Emerald Ash Borer larva.

 

 

Now that I was confident the larva was E.A.B. I went savagely at the same tree with hammer and nail-puller. Wounding a stressed tree to confirm the presence of a pest should be performed only when quite certain that the pest is present and lethal. Peeling bark a section of bark, I discovered the frass-packed S-shaped galleries I was originally searching for, another tell tale sign of E.A.B. infestation.

 

 

 

 

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COMMENTS

lindahytry - 10/20/2014

Have you any info on how far north in Wisconsin E.A.B. have been found? I live zone 4, near Mosinee. Also, if you could help please, a red beetle has been making the lily's look like sticks, the larvae looks like potato beetle larvae. Use products from Gardens Alive.
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John Packard (Lake Geneva, WI.) - 10/21/2014

Hi Linda, The DNR told me it was no longer required to report EAB, because it was assumed to be present throughout the state. Your County Extension agent could provide you a better idea of how prevalent it is in your area.

What kind of Lillies? What time of the season. This time of the year most plants and insects have completed their life-cycle and pests shouldn't be a problem outdoors.
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