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TREES & Plants

Coping with the emerald ash borer

The larvae of the emerald ash borer are expected to kill most native ash trees in the Midwest, including some 18 percent of the street trees in the Chicago region. The Morton Arboretum's Community Trees Program and its Plant Clinic can help local governments, community groups, the green industry, and homeowners with information and guidance to cope with this fast-moving scourge and to develop a healthier and more diverse urban forest to replace lost ash trees.

The most obvious signs of EAB attack are dead limbs near the top of the tree. This invasive pest is so aggressive that all native ash trees are at risk, and trees may die within two to four years after they become infested.

All 16 native ash species are susceptible to EAB attack. In northeastern Illinois, common susceptible ash species include green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), white ash (F. americana), blue ash (F. quadrangulata), and black ash (F. nigra). Horticultural cultivars of these species are also susceptible. Healthy ash trees of any size are vulnerable to attack. The EAB does not attack mountain-ash, prickly-ash, or wafer-ash since they are not true ash or Fraxinus species. (Refer to "Ash Tree Identification" for information on how to identify ash trees.)

The Community Trees Program has two handbooks for coping with EAB: One for use by municipal and community leaders as well as green industry professionals, and the other for homeowners.
 

For local governments, community groups, and the green industry: "EAB and Your Community"

Click on the link below to download the handbook.

EAB and Your Community


For homeowners: "Your Ash Tree and EAB"

Click on the link below to download the handbook.

Your Ash Tree and EAB

 

Grants for replacement trees

The Arboretum is administering federal grants for replacement of trees lost to emerald ash borer in the Lake Michigan watershed in Illinois.

Grants available to replace trees lost to EAB

 

Help with identification

Identify an ash Tree

Identify EAB

Identify EAB symptoms


EAB management options

Insecticide options (North Central IPM Center)
Insecticides (Minnesota Dept of Agriculture)
Tree removal


Trees to replace ashes

Trees for northern Illinois
Trees for central Illinois
Trees for southern Illinois
Recommended Alternatives to Ash Trees for Michigan's Lower Peninsula

 

Other EAB resources

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Hungry Pests

Plant Heroes

emeraldashborer.info

 

Will last winter's frigid temperatures affect EAB?

Questions are being asked about the impact of recent frigid temperatures on the survival of EAB larvae.  The effect may be less than hoped.

Research from USDA Forest Service

Additional coverage from NPR