Emerald Ash Borer
Howard Russell, Michigan State University,
The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a green metallic beetle native to Northern China and Korea. It is suspected to have first entered North America through shipping materials. First spotted in 2002 near Detroit, Michigan, EAB has since spread into much of Michigan, and parts of Canada, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Research indicates that although adult EAB beetles can feed on non–ash leaves, it appears that the EAB larvae can only survive in ash trees (Fraxinus genus), with all types of ash –native and cultivated– being susceptible.
Adult beetles begin to emerge in mid-May through August, but are most numerous in late May to early-June with numbers dropping off sharply. Very few can be found in August. Females usually begin laying eggs about 2 weeks after emergence. The eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, and the larvae crawl into the cambium and phloem under the bark and begin feeding for several weeks. Growing through 4 stages, they feed back and forth in a serpentine fashion, destroying the up-and-down flow of water and nutrients within that area of the tree. Larvae need living tree tissue to feed upon. However, the pupae stage can survive in dead wood (such as firewood). The beetle leaves its excrement
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service,
The reason this beetle is of such concern is the speed at which it can kill, the speed the beetle
James W. Smith, USDA APHIS PPQ,
Stop the Spread: Don't Move Firewood!
Our ash trees have no immunity from the EAB, and their growth rate is not fast enough to recover from the damage done by the larvae. Scientists have been aggressively researching the beetle, the Fraxinus genus, and possible prevention/treatment options. Because of its short time as an adult beetle, EAB
Canadian Food Inspection Agency,
New EAB infestation sites are found every year. In May 2009, Officials with the (Kentucky) Office of the State Entomologist announced the first findings of EAB in the state. The two separate discoveries were in a private woodlot in Shelby County and in a residential landscape in Jessamine County. The following month, they announced additional Kentucky sites, including the first confirmed finding in northern Kentucky. The first find in Boone County came later that year. Finally in 2012, the first EAB was captured at the Boone County Arboretum.
Frequently the discovery comes years after the borer was first introduced to the area. For example, it is estimated that the infestation in Anderson Township, Cincinnati, Ohio had already been active with the beetle for at least 4 years prior to being discovered in 2006. So from 2002 to 2006, Emerald Ash Borer was present with no quarantine to prevent its spread. Within that four year period, it is quite possible that infested firewood was legally cut, sold, and moved, starting a new infestation in a completely new area hundreds of miles away. With this in mind, we strongly recommend that you don’t move firewood out of your immediate area even if you are not under a state or federally imposed quarantine. Buy it at or near the campground, and don’t take the wood to another site or bring it back home with you–burn it where you bought it. While this may be inconvenient, it is the most effective way to slow the spread of this beetle until we can find a treatment option that is realistic and cost–effective for large–scale, municipal operations.
Research into EAB continues, and rather than repeating what is already available, the following websites are excellent sources of the most up–to–date results and quarantines. An excellent starting point is http://www.emeraldashborer.info. This website is a cooperative effort regularly updated with information from many research universities and government agencies.
Create your own plan
Read our “Recommendations Document” for tips on how to develop your own site–specific plan for managing your ash trees in the midst of the EAB invasion.
Frequently Asked Questions:
|USDA Pest Alert||http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/EAB.pdf|
|EAB vs. Native Borers||http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/e-2939.pdf|
|Current EAB Map||http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/MultiState_EABpos.pdf|
|Suggested Replacement Trees||AshTreeAlternatives.pdf|
Ash Identification / EAB Signs
|Ash tree look-alikes||http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/e2892ash.pdf|
|Signs and Symptoms||http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/E-2938.pdf|
This packet was put together by the Boone County Arboretum, Union, Kentucky. Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati residents seeking more information can contact the Boone County Arboretum by phone (859) 384-4999, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.