Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
What is the emerald ash borer?
The emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. It was also found in Windsor, Ontario the same year. This Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash species (Fraxinus sp.) including green, white, black and blue ash. Thus, all native ash trees are susceptible.
What does it look like?
The emerald ash borer is a very small but very destructive beetle. It has four life stages: adult, egg, larva and pupa. The adult beetle has a shiny emerald green body with a coppery red or purple abdomen. The beetle can measure 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July.
Where is it found?
The first New York infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in Cattaraugus County in 2009. The following year, EAB was found along the Hudson River Valley and has since spread to more than 30 counties. In 2017, EAB was found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties.
What does it do to ash trees?
Signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.
Most trees die within 2 to 4 years of becoming infested. The emerald ash borer is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in Michigan.
What can I do to help?
The first step to effectively manage EAB is to identify current infestations.
Please use the EAB Early Detection Brochure (PDF) (923 KB) to learn how to spot infestations.
After reviewing the identification material on this website, if you think you have EAB and are outside of the known infestation areas, call the Department's Forest Health information line at 1-866-640-0652.
Links to general information about the emerald ash borer:
Don't Move Firewood - in order to protect our forests from invasive insects and diseases
Multi-state website devoted to EAB information (leaves DEC website)
EAB Cost Calculator (leaves DEC website) - Purdue University
USDA APHIS EAB webpage (leaves DEC website) - U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
US Forest Service Northeast Research Station (leaves DEC website) - EAB Research
Time Magazine (leaves DEC website) - DEC Forestry staff in Region 3 working on the Department's Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) program to slow the spread of the destructive emerald ash borer
USDA Animated Video (leaves DEC website) - great for elementary aged children
More about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB):
EAB Regulations and Quarantines - Federal and state regulations and quarantines relating to the emerald ash borer.
Emerald Ash Borer Recommendations and FAQs - Frequently asked questions about the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis)
Look For and Report EAB - Public involvement is vital to detecting infestations of the emerald ash borer.
Ash Distribution in New York State - Ash makes up about 7% of New York's forests. This map shows how it is distributed across the state.
Notice the coppery red color of
the EAB's upper abdomen.
EAB larvae can reach 2 3/4 inches long.
Photo: David Cappaert
The emerald ash borer is smaller than
a penny. Photo: Howard Russell,
MI State U., www.forestryimages.org