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Emerald Ash Borer

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about Ash Trees, Emerald Ash Borer, and treatments with TreeAzin® Systemic Insecticide and the EcoJect® System. If you have additional questions please contact us.
 What is Emerald Ash Borer?
  • Emerald Ash Borer is a highly destructive invasive pest that arrived from Asia, most likely in untreated ash wood used for packing material.
  • In North America, EAB was first detected in Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI (2002).
  • EAB was likely present in these areas for several years prior to discovery.
  • The rapid spread of EAB has been hastened by the inadvertent human transport of beetle-contaminated firewood and other infested ash materials.
  • EAB beetles:
    • metallic green in color
    • about 1/2 inch long and an 1/8 inch wide
    • body is narrow and elongated, and the head is flat
    • eyes are kidney shaped and usually black.
    • feed on leaves and lay eggs from June to August
  • EAB larvae:
    • white and flat, with distinctive bell-shaped segments
    • grow up to 1 inch long
    • feed on inner bark, cutting off water and nutrient flow
  • EAB attacks all species of True Ash (Fraxinus spp.) found in North America.
  • EAB kills True Ash of any size or age, even healthy trees.
  • EAB does not attack or kill Mountain Ash.
EAB Infested Ash Trees
EAB Infested Ash Trees
Adult EAB Beetle
EAB Adult
Juvenile EAB Larvae EAB Larvae
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 Where is Emerald Ash Borer presently found?
  • The natural range of EAB is eastern Russia, northern China, Japan, and Korea.
  • In North America, EAB was first detected in Windsor, ON and Detroit, MI (2002).
  • EAB was likely present in these areas for several years prior to discovery.
  • In Canada, EAB is found in Ontario and Quebec.
  • In the U.S., EAB is found in Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
CFIA Regulated Areas
CFIA: Map of Regulated Areas
USDA Quarantined Areas USDA: Map of Quarantined Areas
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 What kind of trees does Emerald Ash Borer attack?
  • In North America, EAB attacks and kills all 16 species of ash (Fraxinus spp.), native and exotic.
  • Six native ashes are valuable commercial species, while the others are important in communities as integral parts of rural and urban landscapes.
  • The mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) is not related to ash trees and EAB does not attack it.
  • EAB attacks healthy and unhealthy ash of any size, in woodlots and urban environments.
  • Not sure if your tree is an ash? Try these keys:
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 What are the signs and symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer?
  • Signs and symptoms are indicators of EAB attack.
  • A sign is physical damage to a tree resulting from EAB attack:
    • S-shaped larval gallery
    • D-shaped beetle exit hole
    • Feeding notch in the leaf
  • A symptom is a tree's response to being attacked by EAB:
    • Dead branches
    • Bark cracks
    • Heavy seeding
    • Canopy thinning
    • Premature yellowing of foliage
    • Woodpecker and squirrel feeding
    • Epicormic shoots on main stem and/or major canopy branches
  • Similar signs and symptoms can be caused by other pests and/or stresses.
  • Consult an Expert to discuss the EAB situation in your area.
  • Other Resources:
S-shaped Galleries
S-shaped Galleries
D-shaped Exit Holes
D-shaped Exit Holes
EAB Infested Tree
EAB Infested Ash Tree
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 What are the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer?
  • During the relatively short time that EAB has been in North America, it has killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada, with billions more at risk of infestation and death.
  • The canopy of infested ash trees begins to thin above infested portions of the trunk and major branches because EAB destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark.
  • Heavily infested trees exhibit canopy die-back usually starting at the top of the tree. 1/3 to 1/2 the branches may die in one year. Most of the canopy will be dead within two years of when symptoms are first observed.
  • Sometimes, ash trees push out sprouts from the trunk or major braches (epicormic shoots) after the upper portions of the tree dies.
  • EAB beetles leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark, roughly 1/8 inch in diameter, when they emerge in June.
  • Infested ash trees die after two to three years, but heavily infested trees have been observed to die after only one year of beetle attack.
EAB Ash Tree Decline
No EAB Signs Observed
June 2003
Premature Foliage Yellowing
August 2003
Crown Thinning and Epicormic Shoots
August 2004
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 Why should I care about Emerald Ash Borer?
  • The impacts of EAB have been and will continue to be ecologically and financially devastating as the insect spreads.
  • Ash trees are an important part of urban and rural landscapes. They are commonly found on city streets, in woodlots, in windbreaks, and in forests across southern Canada and the U.S.
  • If not managed, the impact of EAB will be similar to that of the devastation caused by Chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease, which destroyed dominant species of woodland and urban forests in the 20th century.
  • Among many other benefits, urban trees reduce air and noise pollution, increase property value, help reduce stress, provide wildlife habitat, and add beauty to a community.
  • Ash wood is used to make furniture, hardwood floors, baseball bats, tool handles, electric guitars, hockey sticks and other materials that require high strength and resilience.
  • First Nations people will be impacted if the black ash used to make traditional baskets is not availiable.
Values of Ash Trees
White Ash Baseball Bat Ash Lined Street Black Ash Baskets
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 Are there natural controls for Emerald Ash Borer?
  • EAB is an introduced invasive pest and its new North American ecosystem lacks the predators, parasites and diseases of its native habitat.
  • North American ash trees, innocent of previous contact with EAB, have not had time to adapt and develop effective defenses.
  • In Canada, natural enemies of EAB native to Canada are being studied.
  • In the U.S., natural enemies of EAB native to China have been imported and released.
  • These biocontrol agents may eventually provide long-term EAB control; however, they are still in the early stages of development.
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 Can pesticides control Emerald Ash Borer?
  • Controlling EAB is difficult because lethal damage is caused by larvae feeding under the bark of ash trees.
  • Current science supports conservation via treatment as a sensible and effective tool for managing healthy ash trees in urban settings.
  • In many cases, tree conservation is economically and environmentally superior to tree removal.
  • In Canada, the most effective pesticide available to control EAB is the trunk injectable TreeAzin® Systemic Insecticide.
Download EAB Management Statement
Download

EAB Management Statement
January 6, 2011

We the undersigned strongly endorse ash tree conservation as a fundamental component of integrated programs to manage emerald ash borer (EAB) in residential and municipal landscapes...
This integrated approach to urban EAB management is supported by university scientists with expertise in EAB management, commercial arborists, municipal foresters, public works officials, and non-governmental organizations.

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 What is TreeAzin® Systemic Insecticide?
  • TreeAzin is a systemic insecticide injected directly into the base of trees.
  • TreeAzin is produced from Neem tree (Azadiracta indica) seed extracts.
  • Neem extracts have been used for centuries to control insects.
  • The active ingredent in TreeAzin is Azadirachtin (5% solution).
  • TreeAzin is NOT Neem Oil.
  • In Canada, TreeAzin is registered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) (PCP 30559).
  • Ontario's Ministry of the Environment (MOE) scheduled TreeAzin as a class 4 pesticide or "least hazardous that is commercial", with a class 11 active ingredient.
  • TreeAzin is exempt from Ontario's Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act.
  • In the United States, TreeAzin is registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a bioinsecticide (Reg. No. 82996-1). It is also listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic crops.
  • TreeAzin is owned by the Canadian Forest Service (CFS) and was developed in collaboration with BioForest, who holds its worldwide license.
  • Always read the TreeAzin Label before using: Canada | USA
Neem Tree Leaf TreeAzin Label Canada TreeAzin Label USA
TreeAzin Label Canada TreeAzin Label USA
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 How does TreeAzin® work?
  • TreeAzin is injected under a tree's bark, directly into the conductive tissues, and moves upwards with the flow of water and nutrients.
  • TreeAzin is formulated to inject quickly into ash (avg. 15 - 30 min. / tree) and translocates rapidly throughout the tree (approx. 48 hrs).
  • TreeAzin kills insect larvae feeding on the tree's tissues by regulating growth and disrupting normal molting.
  • In certain groups of insect pests, like Emerald Ash Borer, TreeAzin has also been shown to reduce fertility and egg viability when adult females feed on a treated the tree's foliage.
  • These multiple modes of action help to reduce the potential for resistance in pest populations.
  • TreeAzin is found throughout the tree at effective levels through the growing season and provides up to two years protection against Emerald Ash Borer.
TreeAzin Treated vs. EAB Infested
TreeAzin Treated vs. EAB Infested in Oakville, ON - 2011
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 Is TreeAzin® effective against Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?
  • Early summer injections (5 ml/cm dbh) provide effective control of EAB for two seasons.
  • In the year of treatment:
    • 95% EAB larvae feeding on treated tree tissues do not complete development and die
    • Adult female EAB beetles that feed on treated tree leaves lay significantly fewer eggs
    • Eggs laid are not viable (<1% viable)
  • In the year following treatment:
    • EAB larvae hatched from viable eggs do not complete development
    • Number and length of EAB galleries are significantly lower in treated vs. untreated ash
TreeAzin Treated vs. EAB Infested
TreeAzin Treated vs. EAB Infested in Oakville, ON - 2011
TreeAzin Efficacy
2010 TreeAzin efficacy following a single application in 2008 (5 ml/cm dbh)
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 Is TreeAzin® appropriate for the urban setting?
  • TreeAzin is injected under a tree's bark, directly into the conductive tissues.
  • TreeAzin degrades naturally within tree tissues.
  • When used as labeled TreeAzin poses minimal risk to:
    • applicators, bystanders, and pets
    • bees, birds, and mammals
    • soil, and aquatic ecosystems
  • According to a 2010 Canadian Forest Service publication, the botanical origin of TreeAzin, coupled with its low risk toxicological characteristics, makes it suitable for use in urban settings and environmentally sensitive areas.
TreeAzin Injection
TreeAzin injected directly into trees with the EcoJecy System
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 How is TreeAzin® applied?
  • TreeAzin is injected under a tree's bark, directly into the conductive tissues, and moves upwards with the flow of water and nutrients.
  • BioForest has developed the EcoJect System, a tree microinjection system for the application of systemic pesticides into high value trees (US Patent 7,114,289).
  • With the EcoJect System:
    • Canisters are loaded with TreeAzin and sealed under pressure.
    • Small injection holes (15/64") are drilled into the tree (3/4 - 1").
    • Nozzles are inserted and secured in the injections holes.
    • TreeAzin loaded canisters are mated with the nozzles, beginning the injection.
  • TreeAzin is formulated to inject quickly into ash (avg. 15 - 30 min. / tree) and translocates rapidly throughout the tree (approx. 48 hrs).
  • The TreeAzin dosage and number of injection sites per tree depends on the insect being controled and on the health and size of the ash tree.
  • Consult an expert to determine treatment requirements for your tree.
15/64" hole drilled in tree Nozzle inserted and secured
Loaded Canister mated to Nozzle Injection begins
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 Who can apply TreeAzin® ?
  • Presently, TreeAzin may only be applied by professional licensed pesticide applicators.
  • DO NOT DELAY, have your tree assessed by a qualified service provider as soon as possible.
  • BioForest has a searchable listing of licensed pesticide applicators offering TreeAzin treatment services for Emerald Ash Borer and other insect pests.
  • It is advisable to contact multiple service providers for quotes as many work outside of their immediate office location and set their own treatment prices.
TreeAzin injection with the EcoJect System TreeAzin injection with the EcoJect System
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 How often do trees need to be injected with TreeAzin® ?
  • Early summer injections (5 ml/cm dbh) provide effective control of Emerald Ash Borer for up to two seasons.
    • In the year of treatment:
      • 95% EAB larvae feeding on treated tree tissues do not complete development and die
      • Adult female EAB beetles that feed on treated tree leaves lay significantly fewer eggs
      • Eggs laid are not viable (<1% viable)
    • In the year following treatment:
      • EAB larvae hatched from viable eggs do not complete development
      • Number and length of EAB galleries are significantly lower in treated vs. untreated ash
  • For insects other than Emerald Ash Borer, treatments should be conducted as part of an integrated pest management approach, including annual monitoring.
  • Conduct no more than one application of TreeAzin per tree per year.
TreeAzin treatment in 2008, photo taken in 2010
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 What should I do before contacting a service provider?
Step 1 - Confirm your tree is a True Ash:
  • EAB only attacks and kills True Ash trees (Fraxinus spp.)
    • Medium to large trees
    • Compound leaves, typically having 7 to 9 leaflets
    • Paddle-shaped seeds
  • Mountain Ash trees (Sorbus spp.) are not True Ash trees
    • Small trees or bushes
    • Compound leaves, typically having 13 to 17 leaflets
    • Clusters of red berries in Fall
  • More information on: ash tree identification
Step 2 - Determine your ash tree size:
  • Using a measuring tape, measure the circumference of the main trunk in inches at chest height (4.5 feet above ground)
    • Enter Ash Tree Circumference in Inches: In.
    • Ash Tree Diameter in Centimeters: cm.
Step 3 - Know the recommended TreeAzin® dose:
  • Your Ash tree may already be infested, even if EAB signs and symptoms are not evident
  • If your Ash tree is within 25 km of a known EAB infestation, begin treatment immediately at the maximum TreeAzin® dose (5 ml/cm tree diameter)
  • If your Ash tree is greater than 25 km from a known EAB infestation, a preventative TreeAzin® dose may be recommended (2-5 ml/cm tree diameter)
  • More information on: where EAB has been found
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 Is it expensive to treat a tree with TreeAzin® ?
  • TreeAzin treatment costs depend on a number of factors including the insect pest of concern, the degree of insect infestation, and the size, health, and location of a tree.
  • For Emerald Ash Borer, to be effective, TreeAzin treatments should be conducted every two years while populations persist.
  • Research indicates that regular treatments may be necessary for 6-10 years while Emerald Ash Borer outbreak populations persist.
  • The cost of treating and maintaining a tree's benefits are often less than the cost of removing, disposing, and replanting.
  • Among many other benefits, urban trees reduce air and noise pollution, increase property value, help reduce stress, provide wildlife habitat, and add beauty to a community.
  • It takes roughly 30 years for a newly planted tree to begin providing maximum benefits to the urban forest.
  • BioForest does not set TreeAzin treatment prices. It is advisable to contact multiple service providers for quotes.
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 When should I or shouldn't I treat my tree with TreeAzin® ?
  • Emerald Ash Borer infestations can be difficult to detect, it is advisable to consult an expert to discuss the situation in your area.
  • If Emerald Ash Borer is active in your community, it is prudent to employ a proactive strategy to keep your ash trees healthy.
  • Preventing Emerald Ash Borer from establishing itself in a tree is the optimum method for keeping a tree from being killed. However, because infestation can be difficult to detect, it is important to keep the following in mind:
    • Ideally, TreeAzin treatments should be conducted if Emerald Ash Borer is active in your area, but prior to symptoms becoming visible or ash trees becoming heavily infested.
    • For maximum efficacy, TreeAzin treatments should be timed with the emergence of adult Emerald Ash Borer beetles (typically late May to late June in Canada, early May to mid June in the USA).
    • Effective Emerald Ash Borer control can still be obtained with TreeAzin treatments conducted through the end of August.
    • Heavily infested trees, with greater than 30% crown dieback, may not be successfully controlled by TreeAzin.
BioSIM
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 Will injecting TreeAzin® damage my tree?
  • Drilling through the outer bark creates a wound in the tree.
  • The response of the tree to these wounds is affected by factors such as the size and depth of the hole and the vigor of the tree.
  • In a recent study, ash trees that were healthy and injected with TreeAzin using the EcoJectSystem in 2008 showed little evidence of damage a year following treatment.
  • New, healthy wood was produced over the injection sites and there was no evidence of pathogen infection, decay, or other signs of serious injury.
  • Treating an ash trees with TreeAzin to protect it from Emerald Ash Borer does not guarantee its survival, but an untreated ash tree will almost certainly die.

Recovery of 2009 cambial layer immediately above a 2008 TreeAzin injection site

2008 TreeAzin injection site showing compartmentalization of the drill hole and reservoir
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 What is the regulatory status of TreeAzin® ?
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