Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is serious pest which has caused the death of millions of Ash trees. The beetle is metallic green in color and approximately one-half inch in length.

The EAB was first discovered in the United States in Michigan in 2002 and is believed to have been transported to the U S from Asia on wooden shipping crates approximately five years prior to discovery.  The EAB has continued to spread slowly from state to state--most often through human activities like transporting infested firewood or logs.  

On June 9, 2017, city officials were notified by the Illinois Department of Agriculture that EAB had been confirmed in Quincy ash trees. 

Treatment of City Street Ash Trees

Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan
The City of Quincy Tree Commission prepared an Emerald Ash Borer Management Plan to address the approximately 900 ash trees located on city right-of-way (“street trees”).  The City Council adopted the Plan on February 17, 2015. (Link to EAB Management Plan).  The Plan recommends that the city treat almost half of the ash trees on city property and remove the remaining street trees.  The city is treating 383 street trees for EAB.  The chemical used for treatment is called emamectin benzoate, which is injected in the base of the tree in the spring and controls the pest for at least two years.  Treated street trees are tagged with a metal nickel-sized tag placed about six feet from the ground and facing the street.  The tags are numbered to indentify the trees. 

Treatment of Private Ash Trees

Residents who have trees on their private property should verify if the tree is an ash tree. 

How do I know if my tree is an ash tree?
Ash trees have several leaflets per stem leaf, generally seven.  The leaflets are located directly across from each other with one leaflet on the end.  Ash trees are very common in Quincy.  The following internet link offers quick identification tips for ash trees and how to tell them apart from other trees that have several leaflets on each leaf.    www.treedoctor.msu.edu/ash/ashtree_id

How do I know if my tree is infested?
Look for any of the following symptoms:

  • Thinning or dying of branches in the top of the tree
  • Sprouting halfway up the trunk
  • Woodpecker damage/many bark flakes on lawn
  • D-shaped exit holes (1/8” diameter
  • S-shaped feeding galleries under dead bark


S-Shaped feeding galleries under dead bark


Woodpecker damage

Who can help me determine if my private ash tree is infested?
Contact local authorities if you suspect EAB in your tree.  Questions regarding ash trees on private property can be addressed to Kari Houle, University of Illinois Extension at 217.223.8380   email: khoule@illinois.edu  or you can contact your local certified arborist or tree care specialist.

Ash Tree Removal:
If two or more EAB symptoms are present or the ash tree is at least 50% dead, the trees should be removed.  Ash trees typically die within 3-4 years of an infestation, removal of infested trees is essential.  Removal not only limits breeding areas for EAB, but is also important because ash trees become brittle and fall apart once they are dead.

Quincy Municipal Code, Section 91.089--Dead or Diseased Tree Removals on Private Property
“Any dead or diseased tree on private property within the city which constitutes a hazard or danger to life or property, or which harbors insects or disease constituting a potential threat of disease, infestation or damage to other trees is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. The city shall have the right to cause the removal of any dead or diseased trees on private property whom the city, when the trees constitute a hazard to life and property, or harbor insects or disease which constitute a potential threat to other trees within the city in accordance with Chapter 92 of this code.”

Ash Tree Disposal:
Evans Recycling Inc. manages the City of Quincy’s yard waste recycling program.  Evan’s Quincy facility is located at 711 West Radio Road.  The company currently grinds tree limbs and trunks that are received at the site.  Evan’s plan is to grind ash wood twice into very fine particles less to destroy any EAB larva.  

What Can a Resident Do to Prevent EAB Infestation?
Property owners should:

  • Monitor your ash trees.  Learn about EAB and check your trees for the beetle. 
  • Contact an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist about a treatment plan for your trees.
  • If ash trees are at least 50% dead, they should be removed.
  • Plant a diversity of trees.  Do not plant new ash trees.

More Information on the emerald ash borer can be found at:

http://www.illinoisEAB.com Illinois Department of Agriculture answers frequently asked questions.
http://emaraldashborer.info      Emerald Ash Borer Information Network
http://na.fs.fed.us/fhp/eab  U.S. Forest Service EAN Information

Local Contacts for Questions on EAB:

City Street Trees    Private Ash Trees
Chuck Bevelheimer    Kari Houle
Planning Director U of I Extension
City of Quincy 217-223-8380
217-228-4515 khoule@illinois.edu
chuckb@quincyil.gov  
State Contacts:  
Reinee Hildebarndt Scott Shirmer
Illinois State Urban Forestry Administrator Illinois Department of Agriculture
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Scott.schirmer@illinois.gov
Reinee.hildbrandt@illinois.gov  815-787-5481

217-785-8771