Emerald Ash Borer

Scientific Name: Agrilus planipennis (EAB)


emeral ash borer

The emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), native to several Asian countries, was discovered in southeastern Michigan and nearby Ontario in June of 2002. EAB was identified as the cause of extensive ash (Fraxinus spp.) mortality in approximately 2,500 mi2, and surveys revealed 6-7 million ash trees are dead and dying. Apparently EAB was inadvertently introduced approximately 5?10 years ago in infested solid wood packing materials or dunnage. In 2003, isolated EAB infestations were found throughout Michigan, northern Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia as a result of transportation of infested nursery stock, firewood, and ash timber. Limited information and literature are available for EAB because it is a minor pest in Asia.


Signs and symptoms are indicators of insect attack. A sign is physical damage to a tree, such as a gallery, a hole, or a feeding notch in the leaf, resulting from attack by an insect. A symptom is a tree’s response to insect attack and includes premature yellowing of foliage, dead branches, thinning crowns, or bark cracks. As cautioned in the introduction, similar signs and symptoms can be caused by other pests, drought, or cold stress and therefore you need an expert to verify that emerald ash borer is present in the tree. New infestations of emerald ash borer are very difficult to detect. Usually by the time you detect these signs and symptoms, the tree is already heavily infested. However, if you identify these infested trees, there may be time to protect lightly infested trees in the area or slow the spread to other areas. This is why early detection is so important.



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