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Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)


Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, attacks only ash trees. It was first discovered in the United States in Michigan in 2002 and is believed to have originated on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has been found in numerous states including Tennessee. Typically, the emerald ash borer beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation.

The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from April until September, depending on the climate of the area. In Tennessee most EAB adults fly in May and June. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.

TDA urges area residents and visitors to help prevent the spread of EAB:

  • Don't transport firewood, even within Tennessee. Don't bring firewood along for camping trips. Buy wood from a local source. Don't bring wood home with you.
  • Don't buy or move firewood from outside the state. If someone comes to your door selling firewood, ask them about the source, and don't buy wood from outside the state.
  • Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If you suspect your ash tree could be infected with EAB, refer to the EAB Symptoms Checklist and online EAB Report Form to alert state plant and forestry officials, or call TDA's Consumer and Industry Services Division at 1-800-628-2631.