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Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was first detected in Omaha in 2016. Research shows that within 9 years of EAB being discovered in a municipality, 30% of untreated ash trees will die. Within 10 years, that number increases exponentially to 50%, then 80% at 11 years. 

Our treatment methods
Trunk injections are proven to be the most effective method of protection for your tree. We inject the trunk of your tree using a solution of Emamectin Benzoate (4%). We offer these trunk injections spring through early summer in order to coincide with the lifecycle of the beetle. Trunk injections are effective for two years.

We also offer trunk spray treatments of dinotefuran for very small trees, trees in tight spaces that are difficult to inject, trees with root issues, or trees that will be treated late in the summer (mid-July through August). Trunk sprays are effective for one year. 

Do I have an ash tree?

Both species of ash (green and white) have distinguishing leaf characteristics: 5 to 9 “leaflets” arranged on opposite sides of the central stem of a leaf (pictured). Many other species have this leaf arrangement, but only an ash tree has leaves arranged oppositely on the twig, rather than alternately. The photos below also show a distinct diamond-patterned bark.



You will need to treat it every other year.

Not all ash trees are ideal candidates for treatment. Consider the factors below before treating, keeping in mind that it may be more wise to plant its replacement now so that by the time you need to remove your ash tree, you’ve got a sizable stand-in ready to go. Looking for ideas on what to plant? Here is a great list of suggested trees from the Nebraska Forest Service. 

    • Is this tree valuable? Does it shade your home? Does it have sentimental value that cannot be replaced? If not, keep reading…
    • Very young trees should be replaced. A lifetime of treatments is not only a poor investment, it is harmful to the tree itself and potentially harmful to the environment.
    • Very old trees may be nearing the end of their lifespan. Is your ash tree 40, 50, or 60 years old? Consider treating the tree for a few seasons, but know that it will eventually need to come down. Older trees may not respond well to treatment.  
    • Trees in decline may not survive. Ash trees that have already lost 30% or more of their canopies do not have a high survival rate. Ash trees can fall victim to other native boring insects. An already-injured or unhealthy tree is also more quickly targeted by EAB.
    • Poorly placed trees should be removed. Do you have a tree that was planted near power lines? Too close to the house?  It’s time to let it go. Plant a new tree in a better spot. Check out our blog post about planting the “Right Tree for the Right Place.”

We evaluate trees on a case-by-case basis and help you determine whether or not it is in your best interest to treat the tree long term or plan for its replacement. Regardless, trees should be treated until they are removed and should not be left to decline. Dying ash trees are brittle and dangerous. 

Treatments target EAB in two ways: The adult beetles that eat the leaves will ingest the insecticide, but most importantly – so will the larvae that feed on the live wood beneath the bark in August. The larvae then die before they are able to eat enough wood to disrupt the flow of water and nutrients up into the canopy.

Treatments must be performed before September in order to be most effective in killing the larvae that feed on your tree. Larvae activity peaks in August, so we must perform the treatment within this time frame so the insecticide has time to distribute throughout the tree. 

Trust an arborist!

We cannot urge you strongly enough to be proactive and to get a plan in place if you have a valuable ash tree that you would like preserve. Aside from the chemical treatments themselves, hiring a professional, Certified Arborist will be the strongest tool in your arsenal! 

Get started with a free proposal