Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

Save trees from the emerald ash borer

This pest will kill your ash trees if given the chance, so here's how to stave them off.

Child planting a tree with his mother

The emerald ash borer is an Asian beetle that has infested ash trees in the northern United States. The beetles feed on — and eventually kill — the trees they inhabit. If you have an ash tree in your yard, take precautions to keep it safe. (A dying tree can shed limbs and harm your property or your family.)

Emerald ash borer larva hatch on ash tree bark and then burrow into the tree to feed on it. This invasion disrupts the tree's nutrition system, which eventually kills it.

Emerald ash borers were first discovered in Michigan and Canada in 2002. The hardy beetle has since spread east to Massachusetts and west to Colorado, mostly due to people transporting infested trees or wood to noninfested areas.

Early detection can be difficult but is key to preventing spread. Start by learning the general warning signs of a sick or dying tree. Also look for woodpecker holes and subsequent bark loss — early signs of an emerald ash borer infection. As the beetles take over, the tree's leaves will start to thin at the top and then throughout the canopy.

You can sometimes spot vertical splits in the bark where larvae are feeding underneath. Adult emerald ash borers also leave D-shaped holes when they exit a tree. The U.S. Forest Service collected these images to help people identify the emerald ash borer.

States are working to quarantine areas of infested ash trees. But you can help prevent spread by keeping infected wood out of noninfested areas. For instance, only burn firewood cut within 50 miles of your location.

Learn if emerald ash borer has been detected in your area. If you suspect a nearby infestation, insecticides can help protect trees on your property. However, trees already infested should be cut down and burned or buried.

State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates) is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites hyperlinked from this page. State Farm has no discretion to alter, update, or control the content on the hyperlinked, third party site. Access to third party sites is at the user's own risk, is being provided for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any of the products which may be referenced on such third party sites.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Get a Quote

Select a product to start a quote.

Contact Us

844-373-0003 844-373-0003

Also Important

How to Keep Birds Out of My Yard

How to Keep Birds Out of My Yard

Are birds turning into a nuisance on your property? These bird deterrents will help you keep unfriendly fowl at bay.

How to Get Rid of Nuisance Deer

How to Get Rid of Nuisance Deer

Banish deer from your property with these ideas for repellants, noises, and barriers.

Related Articles

Step-by-Step Guide to Gutter Cleaning

Step-by-Step Guide to Gutter Cleaning

Putting off this task too long can be damaging, so follow these steps to clear gutters.

Backyard Structures and Home Insurance

Backyard Structures and Home Insurance

Is your shed, detached garage or swimming pool covered under your policy?

Home a Sorry Sight? Try These 7 Curb Appeal Fixes

Home a Sorry Sight? Try These 7 Curb Appeal Fixes

Homeowners, take heed: What to update, highlight, and hide for maximum appeal.