Emerald Ash Borer — Arbor Masters

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer is a green beetle that is native to Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in 2002 and has since spread to infest ash trees in more than 30 states. The emerald ash borer feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients, which eventually leads to the tree's death. Emerald ash borers are considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests in North America.

emerald ash borer

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What is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer is a green beetle that is native to Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in 2002 and has since spread to infest ash trees in more than 30 states. The emerald ash borer feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, which eventually leads to the tree’s death. Emerald ash borers are considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests in North America.

What does an emerald ash borer look like?

The emerald ash borer gets its name from the dark green color of its body, which is about 1/2 inch long. It has a flat back and sides, a rounded abdomen, and adults have metallic green markings on their wing covers. The larvae are cream-colored and have a distinctive “S”-shaped pattern when viewed from above.

Where did the emerald ash borer come from?

Originally from Asia, the emerald ash borer is believed to have caused the destruction of tens of millions of ash trees before it likely hitchhiked to North America in wood packaging material such as pallets or crating in 2002. In the U.S. it was first discovered in Michigan.

How does the emerald ash borer spread?

While emerald ash borers typically attack and kill healthy, mature trees, they can also infest stressed or unhealthy trees. The emerald ash borer spreads by flying from infested trees to healthy ones. It also spreads through the movement of infested firewood, nursery stock and other ash wood products. What kind of damage does the emerald ash borer cause? The emerald ash borer causes extensive damage to ash trees.The larvae feed on the inner bark of the tree, disrupting the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients. This feeding eventually kills the tree.

How can I tell if my ash tree is infested with emerald ash borers?

There are several signs that may indicate that your ash tree is infested with emerald ash borers. These include:

  • Leaves that are wilted, discolored or falling off the tree prematurely
  • D-shaped holes in the bark where the adult beetles have emerged
  • S-shaped gallery tunnels under the bark filled with sawdust
  • Cracks in the bark caused by larval feeding
  • Sudden dieback of branches in the upper crown of the tree
  • Splitting or cracking of the bark
  • Excessive growth at the base of the tree

What can be done to prevent or control emerald ash borer? 

There are several things that can be done in order to prevent emerald ash borer infestation, or to control it if infestation has already occurred. One option is to treat the ash trees with insecticide. Another option is to remove and destroy infected ash trees. This is the most effective method of preventing the spread of emerald ash borer, as well as preventing further damage to the ash tree population. Emerald ash borers are considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests in North America. If you think you have found an emerald ash borer, it is important to contact a Certified Arborist quickly.

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