Managing EAB in Your Community: You Have Options!

August 1, 2011

If you live in the Midwestern US or Canada, you’re probably familiar with Emerald Ash Borer – or EAB and the challenge and threat this tree pest represents to the urban forest that you manage. For more information on managing emerald ash borer, visit

Jim Zwack, Davey Tree Service expert, discusses the potential impact of EAB on your trees and flexible treatment options as part of a proactive management approach.

Since discovery in 2002, EAB has destroyed millions of ash trees, devastating the tree canopy cover in many communities. Davey Tree and other industry experts have done quite a bit of research and have come to a consensus that ash tree preservation is a predictable and economical option.

Start with identification. Do you have an ash tree and has EAB been spotted in your area? If yes, do your ash trees show signs of already being infested? Inspection is critical. Being proactive is the best management approach.

Here are a few things to watch for:
• D-shaped exit holes and vertical splits in bark
• Canopy dieback from the top down
• Epicormic branches (or sprouts) on the main trunk and major branches that signify the tree is not healthy

What challenges does EAB present for municipalities? Many communities are opting for a balanced approach. Proactive removal of certain types of ash trees, such as those that are in poor health or are already infested by EAB, makes sense. Also consider diversification of the types of tree species that are planted so that there is less of a monoculture in the urban forest.

Despite what you may have heard, there is reason for optimism in the area of EAB treatments. We have multiple treatment programs to protect and preserve healthy ash trees.

Contact your local certified arborist to help you determine the EAB treatment method that’s best for you.

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