The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle species, marked by its shiny green appearance. Not native to the U.S., they were first found infesting ash trees in the Detroit, Michigan area in the summer of 2002. On June 6, 2016, EAB was discovered in Douglas County, Nebraska. As of 2018, the beetle has been found in 35 states.
Full-grown beetles don’t cause much damage, but the larvae feast on the interior bark of ash trees. This causes the tree to struggle in transporting its life source–water and nutrients–which may result in canopy dieback, bark splitting, and the growth of water sprouts. Signs of EAB include the presence of D-shaped exit holes and distinctive S-shaped serpentine galleries under the bark. Ash trees typically live two to four years after becoming infested. Generally, infestations begin in the upper crown of the tree and moves downward into the lower branches and trunk.
Nebraska has more than 44 million ash trees statewide, which makes EAB an inevitable threat. This invasive insect will kill nearly all ash trees in municipalities, parks, forests, and woodlands in the infested areas. The impact of EAB on Nebraska communities is estimated to exceed $900 million as a result of the necessary, but expensive, removal of these dead trees.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to stop the spread of EAB. But, you can plan ahead. JEO Consulting Group has the staff and experience to help your community anticipate and plan for the arrival of EAB.
We have completed tree inventories and developed city-specific management plans for numerous communities across the Midwest. We use a four-step process that allows our team of professional foresters to inventory and assess the health of your urban trees and then tailor an urban management plan that considers the current structure (species distribution, age class, management needs) of your urban trees, develops risk management recommendations and maintenance plans, and includes a recommended Emerald Ash Borer Plan. This EAB plan will contain current and future changes in code, management of waste material from ash tree removal, and future planting plans to preserve and enhance your urban forest.