Friday, March 22, 2013

Interesting information on a boring insect: Tree felling & emerald ash borers

from the Global Invasive Species Database
Due to the threat of the emerald ash borer (EAB or agrilus planipennis Fairmaire 1888), Ball State began an aggressive program of felling 50-100 ash trees this year (2013) in hopes of eventually saving 250 of the 625 ash trees on campus.

The EAB is a beetle that comes originally from Asia and whose larvae have a taste for ash tree cambium (ie the layer of wood under the bark that produces new growth). Like most invasive species, it has little or no natural predators here.

Aggressive measures are necessary because EAB infestation is hard to detect before damage to the trees is irreparable. Felling trees suspected to have larvae in them and trees with a higher risk of infestation (like the ones cut down at the corner of Riverside and Tillotson) and injecting insecticide (usually imidacloprid) into the trunks of healthy trees is currently the best known practice for preventing the spread of these beetles. The insecticide treatment can last up to 2 years, hopefully giving enough time for the infestation to bypass the area or run its course.

More information...

emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis  (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) - 1460072
EAB larvae

Ball State resources

Call numbers/Subject headings:
  • Beetles (coleoptera) QH541-596, QL581
  • Forest canopy ecology QH541.5.F6
  • Insects/Entomology QL461-599.82
  • Insecticides SB951.5-SB951.54
  • Insect pests SB818-SB945
  • Trees (botany) QK474.8-QK480
  • Trees (disease & pests)/Forest health SB761-SB767
  • Trees (sylviculture) SD391-SD410.9
Department of Biology, Ball State U.

Facilities Planning and Management, Landscape Services and Environmental Health and Safety, Ball State U.

General Information

Agrilus planipennis from the Global Invasive Species Database

Ash tree identification guide from Michigan State University Extension

Distinguishing ash trees from other common trees (PDF), MSU Extension Bulletin E-2892, New May 2003

emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire 1888 from the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Emerald Ash Borer: The Green Menace, 2009 (PDF) from USDA division APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Treatment & Prevention

A Highly Effective Tree Injection Method Using Imidacloprid for the Control of Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)US Forest Service

Distribution of trunk-injected 14C-imidacloprid in ash trees and effects on emerald ash borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) adults (PDF) D. Mota-Sanchez et al. / Crop Protection 28 (2009) 655–661

Forest health protection - emerald ash borer, US Forest Service

Insecticide options for protecting ash trees from emerald ash borer (PDF), Emerald Ash Borer.info