Emerald Ash Borer: Treatment Options Exist for People Wanting to Save Trees
Photo Credit: Daniel Herms
Organization: The Ohio State University
In two years, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has become a notorious pest in North Carolina. From its first appearance in the state in 2013, it has already left a trail of dead Ash trees in its wake, and it continues to spread, prompting a statewide quarantine in September. But, there are options for homeowners and landowners or land managers interested in protecting individual trees. “Treatment options are available, but because of the cost and accessibility of trees in a forest, it is simply not feasible to treat large forested areas,” said Rob Trickel, head of the N.C. Forest Service’s Forest Health Branch. “However, treatment of a few individual trees may be worth considering for some homeowners or landowners.”
Options for the urban or landscape/ornamental Ash tree include removing and replacing the Ash tree, or keeping the tree by treating it with pesticides. For those interested in keeping their Ash trees around, NCFS has developed an EAB Insecticide Guide. The guide was developed to assist even the newest of pesticide users with selecting and treating their Ash trees, covering common questions concerning tree identification, what pesticides can be used and how to make a pesticide application. The guide can be found online at
The guide lists 17 pesticides for EAB treatment that have been registered through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Pesticide Section and also have been tested in field trials through universities or government agencies. Homeowners may also want to contact a certified arborist if they are uncertain about applying pesticides themselves or if their tree is large. “Generally, it is worth hiring an arborist if you want to protect Ash trees larger than 20” in diameter, but arborists can serve any size tree,” Trickel said.
Using the calculator will give you a side-by-side comparison of the cost to remove, remove/replace and treat with different pesticides. The calculator is free, but users must register a user name and password. “Generally speaking, the developers of the calculator assert that in most cases, it is more economical to protect Ash trees with pesticides than it is to replace them,” Trickel said.
The N.C. Forest Service and the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division continue to monitor the Emerald Ash Borer. If you suspect you have the insect, please contact your county ranger, call the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division hotline at 1-800-206-9333, or email information to firstname.lastname@example.org.