What You Need To Know About The Emerald Ash Borer

If you have not yet heard of the Emerald ash borer, you might want to keep reading. The EAB (Emerald ash borer) or Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is beetle which is native to Asian countries and is believed to have come to the United States and Canada via airplanes or cargo ships carrying wooden packing materials. It was first discovered in the United States in the summer of 2002 near southeast of Detroit. 

The problem with this exotic beetle lies more with its larvae rather than the adult beetle, who actually cause minor damage to the tree. It is, in fact, the larvae which cause damage to the inner bark of the tree, making it far more difficult for the ash tree to move essential nutrients and water throughout its system. What was first located in only one state has now expanded to 35 states in the Union, as well as to Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Manitoba, Canada.

Since EAB has been discovered: 

  • In North America, it has ravaged and killed hundreds of millions of ash trees including Maryland, DC and Virginia.
  • EAB has cost hundreds of millions of dollars for nurseries, property owners, municipalities and forest products industries.
  • The USDA and other regulatory agencies have enforced quarantines and have fined those who do not prevent the exposure of the Emerald ash borer to infest other ash trees, hardwood firewood, and logs.

What You Need To Know As A Property Owner:

  • The adult Emerald ash beetle is, on average, ½ inches long and are metallic green.
  • Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) are the only trees they affect.
  • If you see a D-shaped hole on your ash tree in spring, this is an exit hole of the adult beetle.
  • If you are finding a lot of damage from woodpeckers on your ash trees, this could be a sign that you have EAB because woodpeckers love to each the larvae. 
  • With the EAB quarantine, firewood cannot be moved from the affected areas.
  • It is recommended you replace dead ash trees with native trees.

If you think you have an infestation of Emerald ash borer, give us a call today at 301-501-5030 to speak with our certified Arborist. We are here to help.