Emerald ash borer (EAB) arrived accidentally from Asia in solid wood packaging material. The beetle attacks true ash (Fraxinus) tree species and is a highly effective tree-killer in North America - since it was first detected in 2002, it has killed millions of ash trees and is expected to kill billions more.
- What trees are at risk, and what is the impact?
- Where is it from and how did it get here?
- Why is it such a big problem here in North America?
- Emerald ash borer identification and biology
- How much time do I have to work with?
- How do I know if a tree is infested with EAB?
- What is being done about EAB?
Do you have ash trees in locations where they could become a hazard to people, buildings or other structures? A up-to-date tree inventory will enable you to assess the potential impacts of EAB on your community. It will allow you to set management goals and objectives, and to develop an EAB management plan and budget that is best for your community. There are different inventory strategies, depending on your budget and on how much time you have to work with. There are also a number of software programs available to facilitate management and analysis of the inventory data.
There are a few methods used to detect the beetle, but survey trapping and branch sampling, augmented by visual surveys, are used most often in Canadian communities. The distribution of trapping or sampling locations depends on your community and its objectives. If you have a very limited budget and are near to a known infestation (less than 25 km), a detection survey may not be necessary since the beetle's arrival is imminent; however, confirming the presence of EAB could help to secure funding for the management program.
An EAB management plan outlines your objectives and approaches to addressing the impact of EAB in your community over the duration of the EAB infestation. An up-to-date tree inventory (see #2 above) is essential for an effective plan. Plan for a ten-year period, updating the plan yearly. Be prepared to regularly re-evaluate and adapt the plan as new information becomes available.
- Overview of a typical management plan
- Ash tree management options
- Insecticide options
- Tree removal and planting
- Ash wood movement, disposal and utilization
- Public awareness and outreach
- Communications planning
- Sample management plan: AshTown, Ontario
- A checklist for municipalities
- The Canadian Urban Forest Network listserv is an appropriate place to post your questions about municipal aspects of EAB.
- LinkedIn interest groups such as ASCA Consulting Arborists, International Society of Arboriculture, and Urban Forestry have active discussion on aspects of EAB; Urban Forest Products Alliance has discussions on urban wood utilization.
Information about EAB is changing rapidly, there are a number of helpful websites, including:
- CFIA is a good source for learning about new detections of EAB, as well as the regulation of EAB in Canada.
- Information about EAB distribution in the US is available through APHIS
- An overview of EAB as well as some Canadian research on EAB is available through Canadian Forest Service.
- Information and webinars on various EAB topics as well as US research can be found at the EAB Info website which is administered by Michigan State University. Please note - insecticide options described in this U.S. website are not available in Canada.