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Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The emerald ash borer is smaller than a penny.
The emerald ash borer is smaller than
a penny. Photo: Howard Russell,
MI State U., www.forestryimages.org

What is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis) was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. It was also found in Windsor, Ontario the same year. This Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash species (Fraxinus sp.) including green, white, black and blue ash. Thus, all native ash trees are susceptible.

What does it look like?

The emerald ash borer is a very small but very destructive beetle. It has four life stages: adult, egg, larva and pupa. The adult beetle has a shiny emerald green body with a coppery red or purple abdomen. The beetle can measure 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July.

image of emerald ash borer showing a coppery red upper abdomen
Notice the coppery red color of
the EAB's upper abdomen.
EAB larva
EAB larvae can reach 2 3/4 inches long.
Photo: David Cappaert

Where is it found?

Emerald Ash Borer Restricted Zone
EAB Quarantine Zone for New York.
Click for larger image.

The first New York infestation of emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered in Cattaraugus County in 2009. The following year, EAB was found along the Hudson River Valley and has since spread to more than 30 counties. In 2017, EAB was found in Franklin and St. Lawrence Counties.

What does it do to ash trees?

Signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.

Most trees die within 2 to 4 years of becoming infested. The emerald ash borer is responsible for the destruction of hundreds of millions of ash trees in the U.S. since its discovery in Michigan.

What can I do to help?

The first step to effectively manage EAB is to identify current infestations.

Please use the EAB Early Detection Brochure (PDF) (923 KB) to learn how to spot infestations.

After reviewing the identification material on this website, if you think you have EAB and are outside of the known infestation areas, call the Department's Forest Health information line at 1-866-640-0652.

Watch a clip about Emerald Ash Borer and check out other clips on DEC's YouTube Channel.

Links to general information about the emerald ash borer:


More about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB):