Emerald Ash Borer
As fall's colors emerge, it's hard to miss the striking gold and purple
leaves of ash trees
lining streets and roads
in many Midwestern U.S. states. However, when emerald ash borer
arrives, many ash trees planted in towns, cities and conservation
plantings could be lost.
First detected in southeast Michigan in 2002, emerald ash borer, or
EAB, is an exotic beetle that attacks and kills all native ash species,
including white, green, black and autumn purple ash. To date, the
is present in 31 U.S. states as well as two Canadian provinces and has
killed about 200 million
With the help of the U.S. Forest Service grant, state forestry agencies
in Nebraska, Kansas,
South Dakota, North Dakota and other Midwest states are engaged
in regional initiatives to
prepare for the insect's arrival.
Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer include winding tunnels just
under the bark, one-eighth
inch, D-shaped exit holes on the trunk, as well as canopy loss, usually
from the top down. Trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer also
may have sprouts
growing from the roots or trunk of the tree. Other symptoms include
vertical splitting in the bark on the trunk and increased woodpecker
The insect itself is bright, metallic green with a flat back. Adults
are typically one-half inch long.
Because Emerald Ash Borer only attacks ash trees, individuals
also should be sure the
tree in question is an ash and not a similar-looking species.
If a tree is infested with EAB, it must be removed to help prevent the
insect from spreading to neighboring ash trees. In urban areas, trees
may be near utility lines, homes or other buildings, so it is often
best to have the tree removed by a certified arborist.
Reputable arborists should be able to provide proof of insurance and
references, as well as written documentation of the work that will be
For more information about identifying EAB, visit Emerald Ash
The impact of Emerald Ash Borer is expected to be similar to the Dutch
disease of the 1960s, which rapidly killed millions of trees in the
dramatically converted lush urban forests to barren, shadeless urban