The Emerald Ash Borer: What You Need to Know

08-17-2018 in Green Farmstead Partner

By Megyn Walston, CSIF Communications Intern

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a destructive insect to ash trees and considered one of the most destructive tree pests in North America according to Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Once infested, a tree will typically die within two to four years. EAB has been discovered in 3 more Iowa counties this summer making it increasingly important to educate yourself and neighbors about the pest. To date, EAB has been confirmed in 64 Iowa counties. You can find that list here: http://www.iowatreepests.com/eab_locations.html

Adult beetles can only fly short distances; however, they can be moved via infested material such as firewood. Spreading the insect can be avoided by purchasing only local firewood and trees. Symptoms of EAB include thinning and dying crowns, water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, increased woodpecker activity (tree will appear to be losing patches of bark), S-shaped markings inside the bark, vertical bark splits, and 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes of adult beetles. (Iowa State University Extension and Outreach)

Ash trees within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB site should be treated as a preventative measure. Infested trees with less than 30 percent dieback of the crown due to EAB feeding may recover following proper treatment. Treatment options vary based on climate, location, time of year, and the condition of the tree. If you suspect an EAB infestation or if EAB has been found within 15 miles of your trees, it is best to consult a professional to evaluate the best treatment options. Here you can find a list of specialists in your area: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/14442

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship encourages everyone to continue reporting suspected infestations for testing to continue tracking the location of EAB. This can be very important for neighbors considering treatment options.

For more information, checkout these helpful links:

Management Options: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/13114

EAB Information Network: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/

Iowa DNR: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/Forestry/Forest-Health/Emerald-Ash-Borer

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