Emerald Ash Borer
North America’s many Ash trees have come under attack from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This invasive insect pest is from Asia but was first discovered in North America (Michigan) in 2002. In 2009 it was detected in Kentucky and since then has continued to spread. This pest presents a serious threat to all ash trees in Kentucky including those planted in urban areas. As EAB spreads across Kentucky, woodland owners will be faced with difficult decisions about how to respond.
What is it?
EAB (Agrilus planipennis) adults are 3/8 to 3/4 inch long and very narrow (about 1/5” wide). The wing covers are emerald green and the top of their abdomen, visible when the wings are spread, is metallic purple-red. When emerging from trees, they leave characteristic “D” shaped exit holes.
Newly emerged adults feed for several days, chewing irregular notches along leaf margins, before mating. Mated females will feed for another week or two before laying eggs in bark crevices or under bark flaps on the trunk. When the eggs hatch, larvae feed inside the tree and this is when EAB damage occurs.
What does EAB do?
EAB larvae feed just under the bark in the phloem and cambium, part of the vascular system of the tree that moves essential nutrients to different parts. As they feed, larvae form characteristic large, serpentine-shaped galleries and severely damage the vascular system of the tree, eventually killing the tree.
- Woodland Owners
- Wood Industry
Advice For Woodland Owners Threatened with Emerald Ash Borer
As the Emerald Ash Borer spreads across Kentucky woodland owners will be faced with making decisions about how to respond. The link above provides an article from the Kentucky Woodlands Magazine to assist in the decision making process.
Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees From Emerald Ash Borer
Click on the above link for a publication on protecting Ash trees from EAB.
Threats To Forest Health: The Exotic Emerald Ash Borer
Kentucky Woodlands Magazine Volume 1 Issue 1
Learn more about Emerald Ash Borer by clicking on the above link.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) FAQs for Kentuckians
This website developed by UK's Entomology Department has been developed to provide information on the status of the emerald ash borer in Kentucky and some general information about the insect as it relates to spread and management.
- 2018 White Paper on Ambrosia Beetle Damage to Dead Ash in KY: Prevalence and Economic Impact to Loggers in Northern Kentucky - As the emerald ash borer continues to kill ash it is important to keep in mind that dead ash can not stand for too long before being harvested or it will be damaged by ambrosia beetles. While damaged logs are still marketable and have a range of potential uses, they are worth substantially less than undamaged logs and this should be considered when planning harvests including ash in emerald ash borer affected areas.
- 2018 EAB Treatments for Ash Lumber, Firewood, Logs, and Sawmill Residuals - The information contained in this fact sheet describes the requirements and procedures for kiln sterilization, fumigation, composting, and heat treatment methods that can be used to treat green lumber, logs, chips and other sawmill residuals, and firewood that meet the requirements for shipping out of an Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine area.
- 2018 Shipping Ash Lumber and Other Ash Products - Information contained in this fact sheet is specific for sawmill personnel and others involved in the purchase or shipping of ash wood products.
- 2018 Cutting and Hauling Ash Logs - This fact sheet provides information to loggers and those involved in the sale or purchase of ash timber and logs in Kentucky. Information in this fact sheet concentrates on the hauling or shipping of ash logs of all types, and pulp or chip wood containing ash.
- Heat Sterilization of Ash Firewood for Thermal Eradication of Emerald Ash Borer
- Forestry Emerald Ash Borer – Industry Note June 2012 -- Shipping and Hauling Hardwood Firewood - Information contained in this fact sheet is specific for individuals involved in the shipping of hardwood firewood. A certificate is needed to ship hardwood firewood that is produced in an Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Zone. This fact sheet describes the rules and how to obtain the certificates. For specific information on logging, lumber, and other ash wood products see the references at the end of this fact sheet.
- General Industry Note July 2012 - The state of Kentucky has issued a regional quarantine on ash products and hardwood firewood, click the above link to learn more.
- Forestry Emerald Ash Borer – Industry Note May 2012