Frequently Asked Questions about the Emerald Ash Borer

1. How did the emerald ash bore get to the United States? It most likely arrived in solid wood packing material that originated from Asia.

2. What makes the emerald ash borer so destructive? Ash trees have no known resistance to EAB. Few natural enemies have been observed attacking the adult borer, or its egg and larval stages. Those that have are being studied to see what impact the will have on EAB populations.

3. What types of trees does the emerald ash borer attack? It has only been found to attack ash trees. Green, white, black, blue and pumpkin. Marshall seedless, Autumn Purple, Patmore and Summit are examples of susceptible varieties. It attacks all ash in any setting, whether it is in the urban landscape back wood lot or forest. It prefers unhealthy trees but will readily attack healthy trees young or old.

4. What do ash trees look like? Helpful ash identification pictures can be seen by clicking on the identification link on left of page.

5. Has it been found in Dubuque County? Yes, on August 28, 2015 it was found on Dubuque's south side.  The infestation overlaps city and county boundaries in the area of HWY 61 and 151, between Twin Valley Drive and Maquoketa Drive.
6. How does the emerald ash borer move to new areas? On its own, the EAB beetle will move approximately one mile annually. Humans however, can accelerate the spread by moving infested fire wood, logs and nursery stock to other un-infested areas, often miles away. 
7. What does the emerald ash borer look like? Adult beetles are bright metallic green in color. They are ½ inch long and one-eighth inch wide. Larvae are creamy white and grow up to an inch long. Their bodies are flattened and have bell shape segments. 
8. What happens to infested ash trees? Eventually the tree dies. After laying around 100 eggs by a single female beetle, the eggs hatch and develop into tiny larva. The larva bore through the bark into the cambium. (That’s where all of the new growth takes place) Once in the cambium the larva begins feeding and creating tunnels which destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues just under the bark. This effectively starves the ash tree to death.

9. How can I tell if my ash tree has the emerald ash borer? Evidence of emerald ash bore shows up as thinning or dieback of the tree canopy, new sprouts forming on the trees trunk and lower main branches, “D” shaped exit holes in the wood, and noticeable woodpecker damage.

10. Who do I call if I think I have found evidence of EAB? Since EAB has been confirmed as being in Dubuque, you would be advised to call a Consulting Arborist or tree care professional to discuss your options.

11. Can anything be done to save my tree? There are now insecticides that have been tested extensively and have proven to protect ash trees from the EAB. They can be very effective when applied properly to healthy ash trees.

12. Who can I call to treat or cut down my tree? There are several local companies engaged in the business of tree trimming, removals and other health care treatments, including pesticide application. Several of the companies now employ ISA- Certified Arborists. Always ask for proof liability and workman’s compensation insurance. If you suspect a fraud is being committed, record the persons contact information and pass it on to the IDALS – State Entomologist Office at (515) 725-1465

13. What about these fire wood quarantines I hear about? There are state and federal quarantines in place, that regulate the movement of pretty much anything ash. There are also laws that regulate the sale of and movement of fire wood. These laws and quarantines are constantly changing.