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Emerald Ash Borer

Adult Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer - Ash Trees

Affected Plants

All varieties of Ash trees.

Identification and Life Cycle

The adult Emerald Ash Borer is dark metallic green and bullet shaped. They are generally the size of the head on a penny. Adults emerge from the bark and leave behind D-shaped holes. After emergence, the adults fly into the ash canopy and feed on the leaves throughout their lives. Newly hatched larvae will bore through the bark until they reach the phloem. These larvae are a creamy white color and are approximately 30mm in length. As the larvae feed, they create serpent like patterns under the bark, which will eventually cut off the flow of nutrients up and down the tree.


As stated above, the first visible signs of damage on the Ash tree will be a general thinning of the canopy occurring 1-2 years after the beetle has lived within the tree. After a period of about 3 years, the damage resulting from the larvae boring through the trunk of the tree will increase the rate of damage, and around the 4th year the tree will be dead. The states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois have experienced widespread damage from the Emerald Ash Borer. Many other states have reported sightings of the beetle, and recently a few beetles were discovered in the Kansas City Metro area. In approximately 11 years the Emerald Ash Borer can effectively wipe out the entire population of Ash in a small to medium sized city or town. Each year the population of the EAB increases by a factor of 50, and after 9 years the population originating from one female EAB will reach nearly a trillion.


Ryan Lawn & Tree uses two different plant protection products in the prevention of Emerald Ash Borer disease, each of which is effective at different times of the year. If the tree is treated properly before infected, or early on in the process, the success rate is very high. Once the larvae have had a considerable amount of time to bore throughout the tree, the damage has been done. It is important to understand that even though the beetle was just recently discovered in the Kansas City area, they have most likely been around for 5-6 years. The cost of removing a dead ash tree far exceeds the cost of preventing the disease in the first place.

Control and Management

The Emerald Ash Borer is not on a mission to kill all ash trees. Once they find a tree to call their home, they are perfectly content to continue living within this tree. The adult beetle is only capable of flying approximately 1/2 mile. This points to the fact that the primary mode of transportation is actually a result of humans moving hardwood across the country. Quarantines on all hardwood, including firewood and palettes have been put in place in a few counties across the Kansas City metro area in order to prevent future spread of the disease.

Please contact your RYAN Pro for more information about recommended treatment.

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