Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Boston

A close up emerald-green metallic beetle, Emerald Ash Borer (bugwood.org) A beetle that quickly kills ash trees has been found at the Arnold Arboretum. Emerald Ash Borer has been previously detected in Berkshire County (Dalton, Pittsfield) and Essex County (North Andover, Methuen) and most recently the state Department of Conservation and Recreation confirmed the Emerald Ash Borer was detected on July 16, 2014 within Boston at the Arnold Arboretum.

Emerald Ash Borer detections, as of August 1, 2014 (USDA/APHIS)

One of the most destructive pests in North America, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has killed millions of ash trees.  The invasive beetle, which is native to Asia, was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, has spread eastward and now infests over 23 states.

The discovery was expected in our area was expected and state officials suspect EAB is burrowing into trees across the state.  The beetle was first detected in Massachusetts two years ago in Berkshire County, and then in Essex County last year. Quarantines were issued banning the movement of firewood outside both counties.  People are likely expediting the beetle’s spread across the state and country through the movement of firewood.  A decision on imposing quarantine in the greater Boston area is under discussion.

The emerald ash borer is smaller than a nickel (forestryimages.org)

The tiny, metallic green insect creates S-shaped galleries just underneath the bark in the cambium layer, where water and nutrients are transported, effectively severing a tree’s food supply.

EAB can rapidly kill a within 2-3 years of infestation. Once a tree is attacked the beetle burrows beneath the bark and interfere with a tree’s circulatory system, killing it in three to five years.  After the tree is killed, it can become a significant safety hazard.

Learn how to identify the invasive Emerald Ash Borer in this fast paced video field guide: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXCynbvf4Lc&feature=youtu.be