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Emerald Ash Borer - 2013 Illinois First Detector Tree Pest Program

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Published on Dec 21, 2012

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis), or EAB, has been gradually making its way across the continental US since 2002. This beetle has killed millions of ash trees to date and poses a threat to all communities where ash grows. Originating from Asia, these small, green jewel beetles pose a serious threat to ash trees across the states. EAB has been reported in Canada as well as Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The EAB has a 1-2 year lifecycle. Adult females lay eggs on the tree and within 1-2 weeks the larvae emerge and bore through the bark and into the cambium. This is the nutrient-rich area just under the bark. Larvae feed laterally around the tree, girdling it and preventing nutrients from travelling up through the tree. Signs of infestation start with thinning of the upper canopy. Up to half of the canopy may be destroyed after a few years of infestation and the tree may be killed after about six years. Epicormic shoots will appear in the branch collars of the tree and around the base. EAB prefer to attack stressed or damaged trees, but will also infest healthy trees. Due to the severity of the problem, much is being done to prevent the spread of EAB. There are many public ad campaigns discouraging people from moving wood out of the county of its origin to reduce the spread of this and other borers. Federal and State agencies as well as Universities are working with the public to prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.

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