Prior to 2002, North America hadn’t encountered the wood-boring pest known as the Emerald Ash Borer. The beetle’s natural range includes Eastern Europe and Asia—but it has translocated to the US in recent years. If this recently arrived menace is left unchecked, all ash trees will die due to the Emerald Ash Borer Beetle.
Healthy Ash Tree
Affected Ash Tree
Because the beetle is relatively small and the damage to the tree is mostly internal, the presence of borers is hard to detect until plants or plant parts become damaged or die. Large ash trees can die in as few as three years. Emerald Ash Borers can kill smaller ash trees in one year.
Canopy dieback that begins in the top 1/3 of the tree and progress down the tree until bare. Increased Woodpecker activity/damage may also be evident.
Epicormic Shoots—sprouts growing from roots and trunk with leaves that are often larger than normal.
Bark splitting and serpentine feeding galleries beneath the bark. D-shaped holes in the bark are formed when adults emerge.
The adult beetle is dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch-long and 1/8 inch wide. As a borer insect, the Emerald Ash Beetle tunnels into the trunks and roots of woody plants and trees to lay its eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the plant tissue. And while other borer insects feed on weakened or dead trees and plants, the Emerald Ash Borer targets healthy trees—ash trees, in this case. Beautiful and majestic, ash trees are commonly found lining suburban streets and populating lawns and yards all across North America.
Scotts uses exclusive pest control products and fertilizers that target harmful insects while preserving populations of beneficial insects. (It’s important not to eliminate these “good” insects because they help distribute pollen, aerate the soil and promote the overall health of your trees and shrubs.) Only Scotts highly trained lawn service professionals can tell you which products to use and how to correctly apply them.
The Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec, making it an international pest problem. It’s also important to watch for signs and symptoms of the Emerald Ash Borer in non-quarantine areas where the beetle may have been accidentally transported in ash firewood.