Mission: Emerald ash borer

Research Question

Are there signs of the emerald ash borer in your town?

Picasa, DAB3218

You're invited

The United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and Maine Forest Service want folks in Maine on the lookout for signs of the emerald ash borer (EAB).

Emerald ash borer is metallic green and about a half of an inch long. Adult beetles are hard to locate and do little harm to ash trees, while the larvae tunnel under the bark and disrupt the systems that transport food and water to the tree, eventually killing it.

More about this species

Larvae have such a significant impact on ash trees that the trees show visible symptoms. Epicormic shoots are a strong indication of an emerald ash borer infestation (pictured to the right). These are the type of symptoms for which we would like you to look.

You are also invited to spread the word about this invasive species, the impact it could have on Maine trees, and the importance of not moving firewood.

If you are interested in helping look for the adult beetle, check out this mission!

    Mission: Biomonitoring with Wasps
Epicormic Shoots - US FS

Mission steps

1. Print the EAB fact Sheet at Beetle Detectives.

2. Print a Upland Species Survey datasheet.

3. Look for for the EAB host species that are native to Maine: white ash, green ash and black ash.

4. Look for signs of the beetle, detailed on the Maine Forest Service website.

5. Go to your My Vital Signs page (link at top right) to add your "EAB found" or "EAB not found" observation

    -Add to your Field Notes the number of trees you looked at (1 or more)
    -Add to your Field Notes the species of trees you looked at

Why this Mission matters

Direct from the Emerald Ash Borer Information Network website:
“Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. 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. Emerald ash borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. See this map from USDA APHIS to get an idea of where EAB has spread. Since its discovery, EAB has:

    • Killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America.
    • Caused regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs, or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.

    • Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries hundreds of millions of dollars.”


Here is a cool resource to see county level observations of forest pests from across the country http://foresthealth.fs.usda.gov/portal/Flex/APE

This shows where some of those species that haven't been found in Maine yet, have been found. I'm not sure if it's totally up to date since I didn't see red pine scale found in Maine.


If you're on Twitter, follow @emeraldashborer for a great source of EAB news.

Some recent updates -

Study found that woodpeckers were important predators for this invasive!

Another study being conducted to see if EAB natural predators can help manage this pest

Don't forget to keep an eye on the Species News page.

Learn more about invasive forest pests, Wednesday, 6/6/2012

Check out this blog post for details: http://vitalsignsme.org/blog/bugs-trees