The Missouri Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Agriculture have confirmed the Emerald Ash Borer is now in Kansas City. The Emerald Ash Borer originated from eastern Russia, northern China, Japan and Korea. Before June of 2002, it had never been found in North America. It is most likely that the beetle came to North America in ash wood used for stabilizing cargo in ships, or for packing or crating heavy consumer products.
The insect, which has infested trees throughout the nation, is not a threat to human or animal health but poses a risk to Kansas City’s 5 million ash trees.
The Emerald Ash Borer quarantine was recently expanded to include the entire state and, as a result, leaf and brush may now be dropped off at any of the City’s disposal centers. In North America, the Emerald Ash Borer has only been found in ash trees. All species of ash in North America are at risk.
How do I know if I have an ash tree?
An ash tree has an opposite branching pattern (two branches come off the main stem, one on each side and directly opposite each other). Plus, ash trees have compound leaves with five-11 leaflets (depending on the species of ash). Look at the picture to get a better idea of what ash tree leaves look like.
What Does the Emerald Ash Borer look like?
The adult beetle is dark metallic green in color, ½ inch long and 1/8 inch wide. The insect has been found in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec, Canada.
Is there anything I can do now to protect the ash trees in my yard?
Keeping trees healthy by proper pruning, mulching, watering helps them resist insect attack. Avoid bringing firewood from other areas as this may also bring unwanted tree pests. Closely monitor trees for signs of infestation.
Are there symptoms I should look for?
If your ash tree has sparse foliage and/or dying branches in the upper part of the tree; or increased woodpecker activity on the tree, these are indicators of Emerald Ash Borers. However, these may also be symptoms the tree is stressed by other insects, disease, weather or other factors. Those symptoms outlined above by themselves do not mean the problem is Emerald Ash Borer. Consult a certified arborist or forester to confirm the presence of Emerald Ash Borers.
This post relied heavily on content from the KC Parks website, which we’ve obtained permission to use. For more information about the Emerald Ash Borer problem, please visit the dedicated page they have on their site.