Emerald Ash Borer

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a threat due to its ability to spread to other ash trees and kill them without being detected in the Village. The following information will help you better understand the EAB, provide the options in addressing it on your property, and update you on the Village's actions and responses to this threat.

EAB is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan in 2002 that feeds on Ash Trees. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Since its discovery, EAB has killed millions of ash trees in the United States (Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc.). It has also caused regulatory agencies to enforce quarantines in Illinois and other states costing millions of dollars, as well as fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.

Identifying an Ash Tree
Looking at the leaves is the easiest way to identify if a tree is an ash. These leaves will have 5-11 smaller leaflets attached that grow directly across from each other and are either smooth or have very fine "teeth." Aside from these leaves, older ash trees will have a distinctive diamond-shaped bark while younger trees will have a smooth bark surface. Finally, ash trees have dry, oar-shaped seeds that hang in clusters from the tree until falling in late fall. 

Identifying Infestation
The symptoms below indicate the possible presence of emerald ash borer:

  • Jagged holes produced by woodpeckers working to extract larvae from the tree
  • D-shaped exit holes (approximately 1/8 inch in diameter) on the branches and trunk
  • Vertically split or cracked bark above the larval feeding galleries
  • Wilting and yellowing foliage throughout the tree or limited to certain branches
  • Canopy thinning and branch dieback occurring initially in the upper third of the tree
  • A large number of shoots that arise below the dead portions of the tree, particularly at the tree base
  • Distinct serpentine shaped galleries packed with excrement under bark

What can I do?
Depending on the situation, you have two options: remove or treat your trees. Certain insecticides have proven to be effective in treating infestation if the damage to the tree is not too extensive. Contact an ISA certified arborist to see what options you have for treatment. Treatment may be effective for 1-2 years and then will need to be reapplied which can be more expensive than removing a tree. If your tree does die, the Village may require you to remove it in order to protect the public. If you are having a tree removed, make sure your contractor has signed an EAB compliance agreement with the State of Illinois Department of Agriculture. This agreement outlines how to handle infested wood to slow the spread of EAB.

EAB is not a naturally fast moving pest, but has been able to spread through the movement of infested firewood. Please do not move ash firewood.

Fox River Grove, Illinois

Village Hall
305 Illinois Street
Fox River Grove, IL 60021