The infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer(EAB) continues to spread across the US since its arrival in 2002.
EAB is a highly destructive, invasive beetle that has killed millions of ash trees in the US and Canada. Ash trees comprise approximately 1.7 percent of Virginia’s forests by volume, which amounts to roughly 187 million ash trees, all susceptible to EAB.
What does it look like?
The adult Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle has the following characteristics:
Bright, metallic green
purple abdominal segments beneath wing covers
Adult beetles are most active during the summer and early fall. If you see the beetle or any signs
of infestation, you need to report it immediately. During the late summer, fall and winter months,
the beetle’s larvae tunnel deep into the trees they infest. The EAB larvae are usually hidden from
sight under the bark, they have the following characteristics:
Creamy white, legless
Flattened, bell-shaped body segments
A pair of small appendages near the end of its body
What does the damage look like?
Tree canopy will die back
Sprouting through the roots and bark
Vertical bark splitting
"S" channeling or galleries underneath the bark
"D" shaped exit holes
Increased woodpecker activity and damage
How does it spread?
EAB adults are strong flyers, but most of them only fly short distances (about 1/2 mile). So they don’t spread far on their own. Most new infestations are caused by people unknowingly taking infested ash to an uninfested area through firewood,logs, stumps, branches of almost any size, composted or uncomposted chips and nursery stock.
What can you do?
Examine your trees for signs of infestations such as canopy dieback, epicormis shoots, S-shaped galleries, vertical bark slits and D-shaped exit holes. If you observe beetles or evidence of EAB infestations, report your sighting to the City Arborist as soon as possible. If possible, take digital pictures of the insect and damage to your trees.
Treating your trees can be costly. Please make sure that you have as much information as
possible to help you correctly identify damage to your trees and find a professional arborist who can treat or remove your affected trees.
For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer:
Call City Arborist Steve Seeba on 703-257-8374 or visit the USDA website: www.stopthebeetle.info