Pest Alert – Emerald Ash Borer Update


Fringetree- Potential host for EAB

EAB Diagram (from Dr. Frank Hale, Univ. of TN Extension Entomologist, Nashville)

Recent news about Emerald Ash Borer continues not to be good. Almost weekly, state officials report the spread of this pest in their state. Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive metallic wood boring or flat-headed wood boring beetle that is killing all species of North American ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). Since 2002, EAB has killed tens of millions of ash trees.

In the botanical world, European olive (Olea europea) and native fringe (Chionanthus virginicus) trees are ash relatives. White fringetree is native to the United States and grows wild from New Jersey south to Florida and west to Oklahoma and Texas. It is also a popular landscape tree in other parts of the country. Some fringe trees in the Midwestern U.S.have been found EAB infested.

Scientists at Wright University in Dayton, OH report the innate potential of EAB to use European olive trees as an alternate host under laboratory conditions. In the field conditions, EAB has not been found in olive trees—at least not in North America. Also,numbers of EAB infested fringetrees in the Midwest and Northeast are still low.

Community readiness is the key. EAB continues to expand its range across the U.S. In preparation for the arrival of EAB, the location of newly infested ash trees is first determined and the trees protected with systemic insecticides. Bio-control efforts are ongoing, and parasites may be released in attempts to reduce numbers of emerald ash borers. Ash trees in poor health are quickly removed and destroyed.

Quarantine procedures should be followed. In particular, potentially infested firewood should not be transported outside of quarantine areas.

Information and Photo Credits: Louisiana State University Ag Center in Hammonds  and University of Tennessee Plant Diagnostic Lab in Nashville.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.