Forest Health

Emerald Ash Borer in Massachusetts: What Landowners Should Know

What is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer is a small insect that bores into the bark of ash trees, eventually killing them. The insect is a small beetle, approximately 1/3 inch in length with a shiny green exterior. It is native to Asia and was first discovered in the United States in 2002 in Michigan. Since then, it has spread throughout the central and eastern US and its presence in Massachusetts was confirmed in 2012.

Why should I care about this insect? 

Wood Product Regulations for Invasive Pest Species: Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorn Beetle

The sale of wood products such as mulch, pulp, and firewood are an important source of income and a sustainable means of heat production for many New England homeowners. With the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and the Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) to Massachusetts, the sale and movement of these products are now subject to new restrictions and regulations.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Forest health is always a topic of great interest for most woodland owners. One insect that has received a lot of attention in recent years is the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (pronounced a-dell-jid).

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is an introduced pest, believed to be a native of Asia. White cottony sacs as the base of the needles are good evidence of an infestation. They are present throughout the year, but are most prominent in early spring. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid migrates an estimated 10-20 miles a year, transported primarily by wind, birds and humans.

Tree Defoliation in Massachusetts

Although seeing trees lose their leaves in the fall can be a beautiful sight, it can be quite disconcerting when it happens in the spring. Many parts of Massachusetts have seen a significant amount of defoliation this year because of high populations of two caterpillars: 1. forest tent and 2. Eastern tent. You may have even noticed the crowns of some of your own trees looking a little thin. In order to deal with these caterpillars effectively, it is important to be able to distinguish them a part.

Emerald Ash Borer

Massachusetts forests are under pressure from numerous invasive exotic insect pests. One of these latest pests is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This Asian beetle, discovered in 2002 in southeastern Michigan and Windsor, Ont., infests and kills North American ash species including green, white, black and blue ash.

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