Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small (1/2 inch long, 1/8 inch wide) metallic green beetle that has killed millions of ash trees across the Midwest. Ash trees are very common in landscapes and most species, namely white ash and green ash, are native to Illinois forests. Pictures of various types of ash trees can be viewed at the Morton Arboretum website, http://www.mortonarb.org.


Infestation of Emerald Ash Borer can be very difficult to detect until the branches of an infected tree begin to die. The most visible sign that the EAB is present is crown dieback, which appears after the first year of infestation. Usually the leaves on the upper third of the tree will begin to thin and the branches will begin to die. A number of suckers and branches will also sprout from the base of the tree and on the trunk. The bark may split vertically and woodpeckers may begin to feed on the beetle larvae leaving visible damage on the bark. Adult beetles emerging from trees will leave a very small 1/8 inch diameter distinctly D-shaped exit hole that may appear anywhere on the trunk or upper branches. Distinct S-shaped larval feeding tunnels may also be apparent under the bark. Typically, the tree will die in about three years.


At this time, there is no recognized treatment for trees that have been infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. Treatments with insecticides are currently being studied, but residents should use caution if they are approached by companies promising treatments to prevent Emerald Ash Borer infestation. The best defense against this pest is to make sure that your ash trees are healthy and maintained.


Do Not Transport Firewood: Emerald Ash Borer can easily be transported in ash logs. Make sure to purchase firewood locally from a known source and be sure to use all of the firewood in the cold months so that no hidden Emerald Ash Borer larvae or adults can survive on logs left through the spring.

This Trifold on the Emerald Ash Borer is put out by the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  See the link on the right for additional information:

Emerald Ash Borer Trifold P1 Emerald Ash Borer Trifold P2 Corrected  
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