Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania

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Ash Trees and the Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), discovered in Michigan in 2002, is thought to have been introduced into Detroit in the 1990s from wood packing material on cargo ships from Asia. The insect is now found in 13 states, and has been confirmed in our local area. The EAB attacks any age and variety Ash tree.

The emerald ash borer will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, 1/2 inch in length and 1/8 inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. The larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees feeding on the inner bark, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.  When they emerge as adults; they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about 1/8 inch wide.

Tree owners fearing infestation should be alert for the May and early June emergence of adult insects through D-shaped exit holes in the bark. Others signs include dieback, woodpecker damage, and frequent, irregular branching from the main trunk.

Additional information about the Emerald Ash Borer and treatment options can be found at the websites listed below:


PA Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)                                                 


Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences / Entomology


National EAB information website - Collaboration of USDA Forest Service, Michigan State University, Purdue University, and Ohio State University.