TREES & plants

Invasive species

Invasive species come in many forms, from plants and animals to insects and diseases, that can greatly harm the ecology and economy of Illinois.

Invasive species can reduce productivity of agricultural lands, diminish the diversity of natural systems, reduce wildlife habitat, decrease urban forests and limit recreational activities. Two of the most recognizable invasive species that threaten trees in Illinois are the larval stages of the emerald ash borer beetle, and Dutch elm disease, a fungus disease usually spread by a different beetle.

The Community Trees Program team includes Illinois Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator Andrea Dierich, whose job is to help raise awareness about invasive forest pests and pathogens that threaten our trees, provide outreach and help mitigate the impact of any new infestations.


Invasive Species Awareness Month

Each May is Invasive Species Awareness Month at the Arboretum and throughout Illinois. LEARN MORE



Emerald ash borer

Asian longhorned beetle

Gypsy moth


Dutch elm disease

Bur oak blight

Thousand canker disease


Helpful resources

The Illinois Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey Program focuses on early detection and surveillance.

Hungry Pests is the US Department of Agriculture's informational site about invasive pest species.