GRAND ISLAND – Emerald ash borer discovered in Hall County, Nebraska.
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced today the emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Hall County. Inspectors identified galleries, D-shaped exit holes, and multiple larval
specimens on private property in northwest Grand Island. EAB is named for the bright metallic green color of the adult beetles. It attacks and kills all species of North American ash, including white and green ash and cultivars such as autumn purple, Patmore, and Marshall’s Seedless ash.
“EAB larvae are what really do the damage,” said David Olson, Forest Health Specialist with the
Nebraska Forest Service. “As they tunnel in the tree they cut off the flow of nutrients to the canopy,
essentially girdling the tree from the inside.”
Symptoms include canopy thinning and branch dieback, usually beginning in the top of the tree,
sprouting from the base of the tree, bark splitting, zigzag tunnels under the bark, D-shaped exit holes
1/8-inch across and bark stripping from woodpecker activity.
Hall County residents with ash trees on their property should begin making plans to either treat or
remove the trees. Treatments should only be considered if EAB has been detected within 15 miles of
your location and if the trees are in good health and in a good location in the landscape. Generally,
treatments are not advised in the fall.
“Treatments are not recommended during the fall since the tree won’t be moving nutrients into the
canopy, and thus will be unable to move the insecticide,” Olson said. “Additionally the EAB larvae are at the point where they really won’t be active until spring, so they won’t be doing any further damage.
Treatments via injection can start again once the trees are fully leaved out.” NFS inventory data shows that nearly 1 million ash trees are at-risk in Nebraska’s communities. It is projected Nebraska’s taxpayers and homeowners will ultimately spend over $961 million on ash tree removal, disposal and replacement due to this pest. Prior to these discoveries, EAB was confirmed in Washington and Seward Counties in August 2020. It was confirmed in Buffalo County in June.
Along with the new EAB discovery, the NDA announced Nebraska will end domestic quarantine
regulations for emerald ash borer — shifting mitigation strategies to education and biocontrol.
However, the federal quarantine does remain in place. Persons wishing to move regulated articles from areas under federal quarantine to non-quarantine areas will still need to contact NDA or USDA for certification of those articles. Ash wood remaining on site should be chipped or burned before spring.