Emerald Ash Borer Updates for Northeast Ohio

What is the Emerald Ash Borer?

eabhomeOriginally from Asia, emerald ash borer (EAB for short) was said to have arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes in 2002.

Since then this invasive little pest has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees in the northeastern U.S. and Canada. Luckily this pest only attacks ash trees.

The adult beetle can only fly up to about a half mile from where it emerges but due to humans transporting firewood and nursery stock, it has spread very rapidly in just 10 years.

The adult beetle doesn’t do much harm to the ash tree itself, it is actually the larvae feeding below the bark that harms the tree.

Quick Facts about the Emerald Ash Borer

  • Emerald Ash Borer only attacks Ash trees.
  • Once trees are infested, they will die within 1-2 years.
  • Adults are metallic green and about one half inch long.
  • They leave a D-shaped hole upon emergence in spring.
  • Woodpeckers love EAB larvae. If you have woodpecker damage in your ash trees you have an infestation.
  • Firewood contaminated by EAB damage cannot be moved in many areas due to a quarantine.
  • Visit www.emeraldashborer.info for more information.

EAB Lifecycle

In northeast Ohio, the adults begin emerging mid-May and peak emergence is in late June.

The females will then begin laying eggs about 2 weeks after emerging.

The eggs will hatch within 2 weeks. That is when the larvae bore into the cambium layer, which is right under the bark and carries the tree's nutrients. The larvae will feed there for several weeks, eventually reaching a size of about an inch to an inch and a quarter.

The larvae will then overwinter in the tree until spring when pupation occurs and the life cycle begins again.

EAB in Northeast Ohio

Emerald Ash borer was identified in Ohio in 2003 in the Toledo area.  Since then the EAB has been found throughout the entire state of Ohio, including in Lake, Portage, Geauga, and Cuyahoga counties.  By my observations, it has been most recently identified in the Stow, Shaker Heights, and Parma areas.

Unfortunately, this beetle will infest all ash trees in our area. The best thing we all can do to help is monitor our ash trees for signs and symptoms.

Also, buy and sell your firewood locally. The entire state is under quarantine, so technically you can move ash materials within the state. But why help the pest spread?

The best way to protect your ash trees is to treat them before they are infested. Generally, by the time you see signs the tree is infested, it’s too late. As a rule of thumb if more than 30 percent of the canopy is dead or dying back it’s too late.

If you aren’t sure if you have ash trees on your property, give us a call. Let us give you a free consultation.

Don't Spread Emerald Ash Borer as You Enjoy Summer Activities Outdoors!

The summer season increases the risk of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) exposure. As of 2024, EAB is confirmed to be in 36 states, Ohio being among them, and has also been detected in Canada.

As the summer tourism season is underway, many of us may be visiting states not yet under attack by the destructive Ash Borer and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) is asking that we use caution when traveling.

“As people travel and make trip plans for the summer, the chances escalate for EAB movement to unaffected areas, especially when people transport firewood” says Jim Skiera, ISA Executive Director.

If a camping trip is on your travel plans, please don’t pack firewood with you, but purchase a local wood source from your destination area; this small gesture can have huge effects, detrimental or beneficial. Remember this beetle traveled here all the way from Asia, it is small and easily undetected and it wouldn’t take much for an innocent traveler to move it from state to state.

The ISA also recommends pretreatment programs for valuable ash trees. There are ways to protect your ash trees before they become infected with EAB. If you would like to consult with one of our certified arborists to discuss proactive measures to curb EAB infestation, contact Independent Tree Service at 440-564-1374 or info@independenttree.com.

FAQs About Emerald Ash Borer, AKA “The Green Menace”

If you or any of your friends and family members have ash trees on your property, you may have heard of Emerald Ash Borer, also known as “The Green Menace.” This invasive species is extremely detrimental to ash trees. While large-scale efforts continue to battle the pest to protect the several billion ash trees in Ohio, there are steps you can take to treat and protect your trees. First, it is important to understand what Emerald Ash Borer is, as well as being able to recognize evidence of an infestation.

What is Emerald Ash Borer?

The emerald ash borer is a metallic green beetle that is native to Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in 2002, after being accidentally carried to the U.S. in shipping materials. Outside of its native country, the emerald ash borer is considered an invasive species and is extremely destructive to ash trees. It is currently found mostly in the Midwest and Northeast areas of the United States, although populations have recently appeared in the Northwest and cities like Seattle are bracing for its arrival.

How does EAB harm my trees?

The adult emerald ash borers emerge from ash tree limbs and trunks and begin to fly in early May through June. When the adults emerge, they fly up to 10 miles to other ash tree canopies to feed on the leaves. This is unsightly, but not the major cause of damage to the trees.

During this time, the beetles are also mating and will deposit as many as 100 eggs per insect. The eggs hatch larvae, which are white and legless with bell-shaped body segments.

These larvae are destructive as they bore through ash tree bark and eat away at the tree’s vascular tissue. This creates tunnels under the bark that will increase in size as the larva grow, furthering the damage to the trees.

What are the signs of EAB attack?

One sign that your tree may be infested is a thinning canopy. The thinning occurs above where the infestation is due to the fact the larvae have eaten the conducting tissues of the tree. In some cases, the tree can have as much as one-half of the branches die out in the first year and be completely dead in two years.

You will begin to see split bark on your trees, revealing the tunnels created by the Emerald Ash Borer larvae. These tunnels usually look serpentine, like a snake, and weave back and forth across the expanse of the tree.

Another telling sign of Emerald Ash Borer is noticing woodpeckers in your trees. Woodpeckers feed on Emerald Ash Borer larvae. You can very rarely detect the emergence hole of the actual beetle but the woodpecker boring holes are very evident even from the ground. Even if you don't see the woodpecker in action, you may notice the large holes & bark stripping off the tree created when the birds eat the insects.

How can I protect my trees from EAB?

Trees should be treated between early May and mid-June, around the time that the adult emerald ash borers emerge. Trees that are treated early have a stronger chance of surviving the disease.

How are trees treated to deal with Emerald Ash Borer?

The treatment is injected directly into the vascular system of the tree and then carried through the entire tree. These treatments are quite effective unless there is already substantial damage to the tree from the larvae. As you can imagine, the earlier the trees are treated, the better the chance of survival. The best time to treat ash trees is from early May to mid-June. The best way to protect your trees is to treat them prior to seeing the signs.

EAB TREATMENT OPTIONS - Independent Tree offers a range of preventive treatments to avoid infestations, as well as options for ash trees already infested with Emerald Ash Borer. Learn more about treatments for EAB here >>


REMINDER: Schedule Your Emerald Ash Borer Treatment in Time!

Have your ash trees been treated to control Emerald Ash Borer?

When the soil temperatures rise in Northeast Ohio, the adult Emerald Ash Borer insects, recognizable by their dark metallic green exterior, will begin to emerge from your dormant ash trees. As soon as they emerge, they will begin feeding on the leaves of your trees. Then, they will begin to mate, depositing more than 100 eggs per insect. Once these eggs hatch, the larvae eats the vascular tissue then adults “bore” through the bark of the ash tree, hence the name, “Emerald Ash Borer.”

The best action you can take to protect your trees is to control the larvae BEFORE they kill your ash tree.

Independent Tree's certified arborists can assess your ash trees to see if treatment is the right course of action. Call today to reserve your appointment, and take an important step in caring for your trees.

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    Independent Tree offers a range of preventive treatments to avoid infestations, as well as options for ash trees already infested with Emerald Ash Borer.

    Learn more about treatments for EAB here >>

    Schedule Your EAB Treatment

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