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Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

What is EAB?

EAB is an invasive boring insect the attacks and kills ash trees within 2 years.  The larva feed on the inner bark of the tree and disrupt the follow of nutrients. This results in the death of the tree by girdling. 

EAB was first located in Michigan in 2002 and has spread throughout Ontario, Quebec and the eastern United States.  The insect can travel short distances through flight but primarily moves through human assistance (firewood, nursury stock and wood products).

What is Northumberland County doing about EAB?

The County of Northumberland's Emerarld Ash Borer Management Plan outlines actions to reduce the financial, environmental and public safety impacts associated with EAB. The County is responsible for treating or removing and replacing ash trees located on County roads and other County owned properties.  Infected trees pose a hazard of failing due to weakened, damaged bark.  An inventory of all ash trees along County road right of ways and on County owned properties has been undertaken in 2016.  The scheduled removal of theses ash trees will begin in 2018.  Replacement planting will take place during spring and fall seasons to supplement the loss of canopy cover and associated tree benefits.  A list of recommended tree species can be found here

What to do if you have ash on your property?

Property owners are responsible for maintaining, treating and removing ash trees (and any other trees) located on their property.  Dead and dying trees are hazardous and must be removed.

Ask a professional arborist (found in Yellow Pages and other business directories) for proof of liability insurance, WSIB, and that they are Certified Arborists in good standing with the International Society of Arboriculture.  If you choose to treat your ash tree with insecticide ask for a pesticide applicators license.

The Canadian Forest Service has developed a tool to compare the costs associated with treatment vs. removal and replacement. Click here. 

Before removing your tree, check to see if your municipality has a tree by law in place.

What does an ash tree look like?


Leaves are compound and contain five to 11 finely toothed leaflets


Bark is tight and rough and often has a distinct diamond pattern.

Seeds are oar-shaped and hang down in clusters. 



What does an EAB infested ash tree look like?

D-shaped exit holes in the bark

 Epicormal Shoots - Very few leaves, dying branches, sprouts shoot from lower trunk

.S-shaped larval feeding galleries under the bark

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