Emerald Ash Borer – FAQs

  • Where has this insect spread today?  How many states is it in?

Click here for detailed map showing known Emerald Ash borer locations as of October 1, 2013

The Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed as of October 1, 2013, in the following 21 states in alphabetical order:  Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,  Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.  In addition it has been found in Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

  • What does the Emerald Ash Borer beetle look like?

(click here)  for a picture/description as well as information about some other beetles that you might confuse it with.

  • When did we first discover this insect and where?

The first press release was July 17, 2002.  It was announced that the cause of all of the destruction to the ash trees that had been dying throughout the Canton, Plymouth, Dearborn area of southeastern  lower Michigan was due to the introduction of a foreign invasive insect species.  This insect had been identified as Agrilis planipennis,   and then shortly after received the common name Emerald Ash Borer.

  • Where did this insect come from?

The Emerald Ash Borer is a flat-headed wood boring beetle native to China and parts of Asia.  It is suspected of being imported to North America during the  Jimmy Carter administration.  During this time frame,  we lifted the trade embargo with China starting a series of regular shipments of goods and products from the region in the world where this insect is native.  This insect most likely hitched a ride within wood pallets on one or more of these shipments.

  • Does Emerald Ash Borer only affect ash trees?

Yes.  Thorough testing has indeed confirmed that this insect can only survive on the Fraxinus (ash) species and will kill every known North American species of ash.  There are differences in susceptibility between the ash species with the “green ash”  species being the first killed within an area.

  • How do I know if I have an ash tree?

Ash trees typically have compound leaves with seven leaflets although sometimes 5 or 9 can be found.  These compound leaves are arranged on the branches in an opposite arrangement.  Compound leaves arranged in an alternate arrangement are most likely part of the hickory family.

  • How do I know if my tree is infested?

This is, of course, everyone’s concern.  However, it is very hard or nearly impossible for even a trained eye to detect EAB infestation in any given tree until the insect has been in that tree for at least three years.  This is why it is so important to start a preventative treatment program as soon as you have a confirmed EAB infestation within 15 miles of your tree(s).

  • Can I still save my tree if the EAB has already found it?

Yes.  I describe a successful treatment as being able to keep your tree looking no worse than it does right now.  As signs of infestation do not show up for nearly three years, your tree(s) could still have a completely full crown and appear to still be healthy even after harboring this insect for a couple of years.  With this full crown and timely treatment for EAB, we can translocate insecticide throughout the living part of the tree to stop any more damage from occurring.  I have successfully accomplished this with thousands of ash trees since 2002.

  • How often should my tree be treated?

Yearly treatments are recommended.  Perfect timing is soil treatment in April followed by a trunk injection in May/June.  This is perfect timing as no new damage should occur with this method.  Some products claim multiple years of effectiveness but I feel you are gambling with your trees life.  The EAB population grows explosively at a rate clearly 10 times worse that the year before.  Add an additional year and it is 100 times worse, then 1,000 times worse.  During this explosive population growth I would not skip a year of treatment.  Once ash trees start dying in any given area, the insect population peaks as they begin running out of food, then actually declining.  We are experimenting in several areas now with less aggressive treatments once the insect population has crashed….  We will have a lot more information in the coming years of just what we can get away with and what we can’t in tapering off or skipping years of treatments.

  • Do I have to treat my tree forever?

No.  Not at all.  But from what we know today, you need to plan for 4-5 years of yearly treatments for sure and then a few years where you taper off treatment.

  • There are different ways to treat ash trees.  Which ways  are most effective?  What would I recommend?

I have used the same method very successfully since 2002.  Soil treatment with Imidacloprid, fertilizer, and a bio-root stimulant in April.  Then I follow up with a trunk injection of Imidaclprid  using the most successful tool on the market today for saving ash trees.  The ArborSystems Direct Inject tool with the wedgle needle.  Emerald Ash Borer(pictured)  This is a high tech hypodermic needle specifically designed for injection under the bark of a tree.  From this location under the bark, the tree quickly translocates the insecticide throughout the tree.  Effective insect kill frequently occurs within 24 hours if weather conditions are favorable.  This is not a manufacturers claim but rather is based on customer testimonials where “thousands of insects were dead all over their driveway” literally within 24 hours of injection.

To read more about this product go to www.arborsystems.com