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Emerald Ash Borer

Photo by Debbie Miller, USDA Forest Service,

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Common Name: Emerald ash borer (EAB)
Scientific Name: Agrilus planipennis
Origin: Asia


Emerald ash borer has a golden-green body with dark, metallic green wings and a purplish-red abdomen. Adult beetles average 3/8″ to 3/4″ long and 1/6″ wide. EAB emerges in late spring, flying throughout June to August.


EAB requires only their host trees – native ash. In natural forest settings, ash is very common. It is also widely used as a street tree in urban and suburban areas.


Larvae feed on bark tissue, effectively girdling the tree. EAB has killed tens of millions of trees in the United States.


Eradication is not an option. Reducing the transport of infested ash nursery stock, firewood, unprocessed ash logs, and other ash products can slow the spread. Chemicals can be effective in isolated sites, and biological controls are being explored. Education is also key.


D-shaped exit holes in the bark, S-shaped larval galleries, branches and shoots that grow from the base of the tree, and excessive woodpecker activity.

Regional Distribution


WNY PRISM Priority

Tier 4 – Local Control

Invasive Species Priorities – Tier Chart


The emerald ash borer is primarily spread through the movement of infested firewood and other wood products. Once they emerge, emerald ash borers can fly up to a half mile away.


Emerald ash borer is a prohibited species in New York State – for more information on Prohibited and Regulated Species, visit

Additional Information and Resources

EAB Regulation Changes 2016 – by NYS DEC