200 S. Hough Street  Barrington, IL 60010 | (847) 304-3400

Home » Government » Departments » Public Works » Forestry » Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

What is the Emeral Ash Borer?

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is an invasive pest in our area. The pest is a native of Asia and was most likely brought to this country in shipping crate lumber. This pest lays eggs on ash tree specimens (the only species it currently infects.) The larvae burrow into the vascular tissue of the trees, just below the surface of the bark. The larvae feed on this tissue during the course of their development. The damaged tissue is that which feeds the tree. The trees can no longer provide food for themselves, causing their demise and ultimate death. All ash tree species are susceptible and will most likely fail within the next few years. Ash specimens are no longer a viable species for our area. More information can be found at www.emeraldashborer.info.

Where are EAB?

EAB spread throughout the United States, rapidly, from what was thought to be the original infestation area near Detroit, Michigan. Evidence of EAB infestations were found in areas of the Village.

How do you know if a tree is infested with EAB?

There are several symptoms and signs that show us where the pests are. Primary identifiers are split bark, d-shaped exit holes, and woodpecker damage. Bark tends to split on the smaller trees a season after feeding has begun. When the bark splits, you can visibly see the feeding galleries. D-shaped exit holes from adult emergence are also an identifier. While many pests can leave exit holes, EAB has a distinct size and shaped exit wound. For mature species, our greatest telling damage is the presence of woodpeckers. As EAB larvae mature, woodpeckers find the larvae irresistible and feed primarily on these during the fall and winter months. Heavily infested trees are riddled with holes from this feeding activity, although only a handful of wounds on a tree can be an excellent identifier of the earliest stage of a big infestation. Heavily infested trees can appear to be perfectly healthy, unless you know what you are looking for. Once a tree is infested, it is a matter of a brief period of time before the tree will fail. As in human healthcare, early diagnosis can be made when good health seems obvious. Seeming health does not negate the problem, or its dire prognosis

I think I have been seeing EAB every summer for years; why is it a problem?

EAB can be confused with other, less impactful, insects such as the Japanese beetle. EAB is a different species and a recent immigrant to the United States. 

Will the Village Inspect my Privately-Owned Trees?

The Village has historically provided minimal inspection and advice as it relates to tree issues. This is always a courtesy, and a service which we are grateful to supply, as time allows. 

Will the Village Remove my Privately-Owned Trees?

No. Private property maintenance issues are just that, private. As with Dutch Elm Disease, both State statute and Village Code require the prompt removal and destruction of any infested ash tree found on private property. Inspection and enforcement is handled through the Development Services Department. 

Treatment Options for EAB

While there are several treatment options available, the most promising treatments are injectable insecticides in uninfested trees. The injectable products must be applied by a professional and are not available for sale to the general public. You should consult a professional, preferably a certified arborist, to discuss treatment options, costs, and effectiveness of treatments. 

Plans for Public Trees

A Village tree inventory completed in 2014 and indicated the type, size and condition of all parkway trees in the Village. While about 20 percent of our parkway trees are ash, only 44 of these were in excellent condition and 38 of these had only single digit diameters. We determined the best plan would be to not spend money on treatment of trees since treatment success is not assured, but rather to remove dead or infested trees and replace trees with diversified and properly spaced stock to insure the most sustainable tree canopy. We anticipate replacing about 70 percent of the removed trees in order to insure the best tree canopy in the future. 

Will the Village remove the stump once a tree is removed from the public parkway?

Yes. Stumps are added to a list and ground (removed), typically within a few weeks of the removal of the tree. Grindings are then picked up within a week or so and ground areas are restored with topsoil and seed. 

Can I treat the public parkway tree adjacent to my property?

The Village provides an option for residents to treat public trees adjacent to their property. Residents wishing to treat public trees must obtain a permit (at no cost) from the Department of Public Works, prior to commencement of any treatment. This insures that any and all involved in the treatment process are properly licensed and insured and that only suitable trees are being treated. Click here for a copy of the Application.