College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Center for Land Use Education and Research

 

CT Emerald Ash Borer Survey

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a non-native insect with the potential to have a devastating effect on the ash trees of Connecticut. This insect, a bark boring beetle, has been documented in New Haven County. This insect can be easily moved in firewood and through other means. Because of that, we are encouraging greater awareness of EAB. We hope to reduce the likelihood of its inadvertent spread. We also want to help prepare people for dealing with the insect should it be found.

About the CT Emerald Ash Borer Trapping Program

Emerald Ash Borer TrapWhat is that Purple Thing Hanging in the Tree?

It's a sticky trap that the United States Department of Agriculture officials and cooperators are using to identify where the invasive pest, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is located. EAB is currently known to be in Connecticut.

How does the trap work?

The trap uses Manuka oil as an attractant to lure the beetles to it. The surface of the trap is coated with a sticky material which causes the EAB to adhere to it.

Is the trap harmful to area wildlife?

The sticky substance is not noxious and although some other insects may get stuck on the trap, the pheromone is designed to target EAB. Birds and other animals will not be harmed by the trap.

How long will it be there?

The traps will be hung in ash trees from May through August.

Will the traps bring EAB into the area?

No, the traps will not bring EAB into an area that is not already infested.

For questions regarding the 2011 Connecticut EAB Trapping Program, please contact Thomas Worthley, UCONN Cooperative Extension, at 860-345-5232.

About the Emerald Ash Borer

What is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

EAB is a small (½ inch), bright-green beetle that does its damage as a larva, feeding on the inner bark of ash trees. Its numbers build rapidly in an infestation, and these numbers will kill mature trees within 3-5 years. Its life cycle is between 1-2 years long, with the adults most likely to be found in June or July. Since the adult small and is only lives outside of the tree for a few weeks, the most likely way that the beetle will be found will be through the damage it causes trees.

How Did It Get Here?

It most likely entered the U.S. through wooden shipping material from Asia. Now, it is moving swiftly across the country through firewood, ash log, and nursery stock movement.

What Does It Do?

EAB will kill an ash tree in three to five years.

Who Should be Concerned?

Ash trees are a small but important component of our woodlands and urban forests. The tree is a primary food source and provides habitat for a wide range of native insects, birds and mammals; it contributes to the diversity of the forest and is a key component in the spectacular display of leaf color that is so much a part of the experience of fall in Connecticut. The people with the most at stake are woodland owners, residential and commercial property owners and municipalities. For woodland owners, ash can be a valuable timber tree as well as an important part of the forest ecosystem. Municipalities likewise face significant economic impacts. For example, if a community has 10,000 street trees and 5% of these are ash trees, as these ash trees die, this means 500 more trees that need to be removed.

What Should You Do?

The first and most important suggestion is to not overreact. Until EAB is found nearby, there is not much that one can do with regards to EAB, other than becoming informed about the beetle and about the nature and extent of the local ash resource.

Woodland owners, private property owners such as homeowners, and municipalities are all likely to look at EAB differently. There are numerous good sources of information regarding EAB, many geared towards these variations in perspective. The website www.emeraldashborer.info is an excellent clearinghouse for information. The State of Connecticut has also developed excellent resource materials that can be found online through the DEP Division of Forestry, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension Service.

Individuals with direct concerns about ash trees should also consider contacting a professional with the expertise appropriate to their need, such as an arborist or a forester. Arborists and foresters are specialists credentialed by the state - arborists are licensed and foresters are certified. Engaging individuals without these credentials can be damaging - not just legally, but also economically and environmentally, as non-credentialed individuals will not have the proven skills and knowledge as shown by the license or certification.

Anyone who suspects that they have found the insect or an infested tree is strongly encouraged to contact the State Entomologist at CAES (CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov or call 203-974-8474). Take and send digital pictures, but do not move the wood or the insect! That will only risk spreading the infestation further.

The presence of the beetle does not require the removal of the trees - ultimately, that will be a decision to be made by the property owner. In the case of important landscape trees, treatments do exist that can kill beetles in a tree and prevent further infestation. A discussion of these various treatments is available on the emeraldashborer.info website.

What Else Should You Know?

It is very likely that the state will impose a quarantine around the infested area. The purpose of this quarantine will be to help limit the spread of the beetle through the movement of firewood, logs, yard waste or infested nursery stock. Details on this quarantine, if and when established, will be posted on the CAES website and made available through press releases.

In advance of an infestation, perhaps the most helpful steps for members of the general public are those that reduce the movement of raw wood over long distances. In particular, firewood should be sawn, purchased and used locally, so as to limit the opportunity for EAB and other pests to hitch a ride within the firewood pile.

Save the Ash- Be Part of the Solution

Nearly all EAB finds are believed to be directly related to movement of ash material from infested areas. You can help slow the spread of this devastating pest by surveying your own ash trees and not moving firewood from your home to other areas.

Symptom Checklist

After you have determined you have an ash tree, check for the following symptoms:

  • Distinct D-shaped exit holes in the bark
  • S-shaped tunnels on surface under the bark
  • Sprout growth at the tree base
  • Unusual activity by woodpeckers
  • Die-back on the top third of the tree
  • Vertical splits in the bark

If your tree has 2 or more symptoms, report signs to CT Agricultural Experiment Station by sending digital photos to CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov.

Need help identifying an ash tree? Additional information can be found on the www.emeraldashborer.info website.

Additional Resources
  • Letter to Connecticut Tree Wardens on March 25, 2011 (pdf) - This letter was sent by Connecticut's Emerald Ash Borer Response Team. This team consists of representatives from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, CT DEP Division of Forestry, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service ‐ Plant Protection and Quarantine (APHIS‐PPQ) and the USDA Forest Service.