In the Epicenter of the Spotted Lanternfly Infestation

Guest blog by Laurel Downs, The Nature Conservancy

Last summer I sat on the back porch of my parents’ house along the Schuylkill River in Berks County, Pennsylvania and watched what I thought was a very peculiar weevil-like bug awkwardly wander across the floorboards. Gangling legs moved like feelers topped with a broad body that tapered into a mile-long face saddled with bulging black eyes.

Out came the smartphone for identification- identifying all things animal or insect is my favorite. Low and behold this creature was not an adorably awkward weevil but the nymph stage of a notorious new invasive – the spotted lanternfly. Spotted lanternflies are native to Asia, and they were first officially detected in Berks County Pennsylvania in 2014 (but they were likely meandering porches and tree trunks about two years prior to that.) The first three immature (called “instar”) stages give the nymph a black body speckled with white dots. The fourth and final instar comes with a vibrant red coloration throughout the body; it retains the red to some extent in the winged adult phase.

Well, you know what they say, once you’re looking for a white truck, you see them everywhere. (Do they say that?) Sure enough, my mom and I started spotting the goofy little buggers all over. Live ones, dead ones, and empty exoskeletons with circular holes in the top – maybe predation or metamorphosis?

A group of 4th stage instar nymphs in Berks County PA. Photo credit: L. Downs, The Nature Conservancy

Anyway, this year I stuck around long enough to see the nymphs turn into just-as-awkward, yet oddly beautiful adults. Appreciation for aesthetics aside, these invasive insects are more trouble than they’re worth. So much so that the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture asks for the public’s help in their spotted lanternfly alert in which they give the following advice for those who encounter the insect:

Kill it! Squash it, smash it…just get rid of it.

It’s important to note that in many places, you should both squish AND report these pests. Here in Berks county, we’ve had this pest for a while- but in many places, it’s very important to report it if you see them!

As a nature lover, killing is not a go-to task for me with any living creature, but with the SLF, it may be necessary considering the serious threat these insects present to our natural, agricultural, and cultural resources. The spotted lanternfly (SLF) feed on, and subsequently damage, many tree species and crops; to add insult to injury, they produce a sugary excrement known as “honeydew” in the process which attracts stinging insects and sooty black mold. At the very least, a generous coat of sticky-sweet bug poo everywhere can put a real damper on one’s ability to enjoy outdoor recreation, but SLF infestation poses an even greater threat to the health of our farms and forests- and they’re spreading.

An adult spotted lanternfly succumbs to a spider web. Photo credit: L. Downs, The Nature Conservancy

In 2021, PA expanded their SLF quarantine, and many nearby states are following suit. While the insect is able to fly, humans are likely to facilitate their spread in rapid fashion by unwittingly chauffeuring them and/or their eggs. Each female SLF can lay between 30-50 eggs which she will happily plop down on almost ANY outdoor structure; we’re talkin’ cars, RVs, lawn furniture, plastic flamingos (probably), camping gear, and you guessed it, firewood.


An adult spotted lanternfly hanging out on my tire as I gassed up my vehicle. I now notice them wherever I go in Eastern and Central PA. Photo credit: L. Downs, The Nature Conservancy

Luckily more and more Pennsylvania folk are recognizing this flamboyant bug and taking the necessary…um…steps…to, quite literally, squash the problem. It’s not much, but it’s an honest effort on behalf of the public to be mindful of their surroundings and the threats to our resources. It will take more, however, to contain the spread of these conspicuous troublemakers. Fall is upon us and this is when females begin to lay rather inconspicuous eggs.

So, if you are traveling anywhere this fall, make sure to check over your vehicle and recreational items before taking them across county lines. If you are living or staying in an area quarantined for spotted lanternfly, use this checklist to ensure you don’t leave with any tree-pest stowaways looking for new territory. And please, for the love of our forests, leave your firewood at home. Buy it where you burn it.

An adult spotted lanternfly taking a break from its destructive ways to sneak over my shoulder for a selfie. Photo credit: L. Downs, The Nature Conservancy


Helpful Spotted Lanternfly Links:

Top 5 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Ideas for 2021

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle that infests and kills ash trees in North America. Right now, the EAB is found across most of the Central and Eastern US, as well as increasingly the Great Plains and Southeastern states. Once a tree has been infested with emerald ash borer for several years, it is very difficult to save that particular tree- but if caught early enough, ash trees in yards, parks, and streets can usually be successfully treated and protected. To help your community successfully find emerald ash borer infestations before they get so severe that they cannot be treated, we need your help!

During Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week (May 23- 29th, 2021) everyone is encouraged to take a few minutes to learn about the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation on ash trees, so that the infestations can be better managed by local tree professionals and foresters.

Here are our Top Five Resources for Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week!

  1. Check out this short and awesome video on how to identify ash trees and damage from the emerald ash borer: Emerald Ash Borer ID Video
  2. Do you need some more technical handouts? Check out the this comprehensive Resource list here at Publications and Resources
  3. Looking for kid friendly EAB resources like a coloring page or a bug mask? Look through our awesome “For Kids” page! 
  4. Want something quick to download for a social media account? Here’s a fun banner that works well for Facebook, Twitter, and more: 
  5. Or do you just want it all? Take a look at our Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week Toolkit, where we list all the Resources that we think can help you make it a successful week.

If you think you have found signs of emerald ash borer on your ash tree, click here to learn about how to report it in your state.

The best way to slow the spread of emerald ash borer and other forest pests is avoid moving firewood long distances. Instead, buy local firewood, buy heat treated certified firewood, or gather firewood on site when permitted.


(image credit for EAB image used in Facebook Advertisement, Spring 2018: Steven Valley, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Image 5445431)

South Carolina finds an Asian longhorned beetle infestation

In late May 2020, an observant resident of Hollywood, SC noticed and reported an unusual black and white spotted beetle near a porch light at their home. That beetle unfortunately turned out to be one of many Asian longhorned beetles infesting trees in the area, and USDA APHIS is now working with the Clemson Department of Plant Industry and Clemson Extension to understand the geographic scope of the infestation, as well as how the beetle is spreading in this coastal South Carolina habitat.
asian longhorned beetle held in persons hand
There are two important things that anyone in the southeastern US can do to help. Report any possible sightings of this beetle, and don’t move any wood or tree products (firewood, chips, branches, yard waste) around the greater Charleston area.

Take a look at the trees around you, and report any insects you might find that look like this beetle- or any potential holes or other damage that might be from the Asian longhorned beetle. The beetles themselves are about 1” to 1.5” long, have a very long black and white striped antenna, and a black glossy body with obvious white spots. Sometimes they look like they have blue-ish feet. Beetles make several different types of damage on trees, including round, ¼” to 3/8” holes and small chewed “divots” on the outside of the tree. Bark may split in some places and the tree may ooze fluid around these areas. Branches will often fall from the tree, as feeding from the larvae weakens the structural integrity of the tree. So far, in this area, damage has been most commonly seen on red maples. More information on the ALB can be found on the Asian longhorned beetle Clemson Extension fact sheet. If you think you see an ALB, please capture the insect or take a photo and contact the Clemson Department of Plant Industry ( or by calling 864-646-2140) or your local Clemson Extension office, which can be found here: If you think you have found an ALB outside of South Carolina, please visit the Report It form.

red maple with asian longhorned beetle damage

Firewood, yard waste, and other wood and tree products could potentially contain beetles. Don’t take firewood from your backyard along with you when you go camping, fishing, or any activity where you might use firewood. Instead, buy local bundled firewood at or near your destination, or gather firewood on site when you get there (if that is permitted). Take care to observe any local restrictions about yard waste in the area near the newly discovered Asian longhorned beetle infested area in and around Hollywood SC (southwest of Charleston).

protect south carolina forests billboards

Co-authored by David Coyle, Clemson University, and Leigh Greenwood, The Nature Conservancy


New science on why people make the choice to move firewood

Guest blog by David Coyle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, Clemson University

Most insects (and fungi) don’t really move that far on their own. The emerald ash borer, widely considered the worst invasive forest insect of our generation, flies at most a few miles a year. So if that’s the case, then how did it get from Detroit to Texas (or Maine, or Manitoba, or Georgia, or North Carolina, or…) in less than two decades? I’ll tell you how – it got accidentally moved around by people, most likely in infested wood products. And what’s one of the most commonly moved wood products that people like to move around? Firewood.

Maybe it’s for a relaxing weekend camping at a park (“I’m gonna sit by the fire and enjoy doing nothing”), maybe it’s for a gathering at a relative’s house (“Let’s have a bonfire!”), or maybe it’s for cold fall nights out deer hunting- whatever the reason, firewood gets moved around all the time. When it is only short distances, that’s not a big problem- but unfortunately, the transportation of firewood is one of the main ways invasive pests get moved longer distances, like to new states or regions far away from their original infestation.

Now you may be asking yourself – why do people move firewood considering all the information about the risk of moving forest insects? What’s the precise reason people choose to move firewood? Do they not know it’s bad? Or do they not care? Or is it something else?

Recently, researchers from the University of Maine, Unity College, and the USDA Forest Service interviewed campers (272, to be exact) at campgrounds in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, all with the goal of figuring out the answer to these questions. You can read the whole study at (, but for a quick summary, keep reading!

First, the good news: most people (92%!) did know about invasive forest pests (though they couldn’t always name one) and the majority (72% of campers) did not bring firewood from home. The bad news is that we now know 28% of people are bringing firewood from home. The big reasons why people brought their own wood probably won’t surprise you –they already had it available at home, and bringing it is cheaper than buying it.

The study also found out that the less people cared about (or were “involved with”) invasive forest pests, the less they thought invasive forest pests were a problem. This makes perfect sense. Think of something you care deeply about – you probably think it’s important, right? We are all more motivated to protect the things we care about and understand, than the things that don’t seem important, or that we simply are not aware of.

This important research shows us that we still have work to do in the world of forest pest, firewood, and social science research. We need to figure out new, exciting ways to convey to people how bad invasive species can be, and how their actions make a difference. Maybe we need to show more images of large-scale devastation from insect outbreaks? Maybe it’s personal stories of financial loss – or the loss of a beautiful tree in someone’s yard? Whatever it is, reaching those folks who don’t yet care or understand will be critical to protecting our trees and forests.

Like me, you may have heard misconceptions about the importance of not moving firewood before, “Who cares? It won’t matter. We’ll burn it all up anyway. There’s no way anything is still living in there. There weren’t any bugs in it to start with. I’m only one person, how much can that really matter?”

As a community of outreach professionals, we need to communicate that yes- your firewood does matter, and one person can make a difference. Every camping trip, hunting trip, or visit to Grandma’s house is another opportunity to do the right thing.

Daigle, J.J., C.L. Straub, J.E. Leahy, S.M. De Urioste-Stone, D.J. Ranco, and N.W. Siegert. 201x. How campers’ beliefs about forest pests affect firewood transport behavior: an application of involvement theory. Forest Science XX: 1-10.

Photo credit: L. Greenwood, The Nature Conservancy

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Pathogen Found in Kaua‘i Forest

Guest blog by Melissa Fisher, Director of Kauai Forest Program, The Hawai’i Chapter of The Nature Conservancy

One evening early in May 2018 I received a call from the Kauaʻi Department of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) branch manager that started with, “Are you sitting down?” She quickly shared with me devastating information that the deadly disease that has killed thousands of trees on the island of Hawai’i, Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (ROD), had now also been found on the island of Kauaʻi. ʻŌhiʻa trees anchor Kauaʻi’s native forest and are deeply significant culturally. The thought that kept running through my mind was, “we thought we had more time.”

A state forester noticed a suspect tree on Forest Reserve land on Kauaʻi and sent a sample to the lab on Hawai‘i island. The sample tested positive for the less aggressive of the two fungal pathogens that are present on Hawai‘i island, named Ceratocystis huliohia. Though less aggressive, it is still a grave threat to ʻōhiʻa forests.

Over the last year, Kauaʻi conservation leaders have been meeting quarterly to review information about the spread of the fungus on Hawai‘i Island and discuss science, signage, and communications plans. We planned to raise public awareness on Kauaʻi, in the hopes of preventing the spread of ROD to our island and our ʻōhiʻa forests.

The phone call was quite a shock, but because we were already organized, we were able to mobilize quickly on Kauaʻi and collaborate with experts from Hawaii island to survey, sample more trees, and determine the best next steps.

There is a lot we do not yet know about the infected area but teams from multiple organizations are working together to determine its extent. A variety of techniques are being used, including: digital sketch mapping of trees using teams in a helicopter, drone surveys to assist with on-the-ground sampling , and testing of a new remote sensing digital mapping technique to map larger areas of the forest.

(photo: Forest survey crew with staff experts from Hawaii island helping to sample suspect trees. credit: L. Behnke, TNC)

All conservation teams on Kauaʻi are on alert in their work areas to report any ʻōhiʻa trees that might have been killed by the fungus.  The ROD fungus itself is not visible on the outside of the tree, so a few characters may help determine if your tree might be infected. First, an apparently healthy tree’s crown will turn from green to yellow then brown and appear dead over a few days to weeks if it has ROD. Next, leaf death will not be scattered but entire branches or the entire crown will die at once. If the tree is in a location were ROD is rare or unconfirmed, then it is possible that the tree died from something other than ROD such as injury or other pathogens. There are several diseases that kill ʻōhiʻa trees and show symptoms similar to ROD. If the tree is in a location where ROD is already prevalent, then it’s very likely that the tree has died from ROD infection. To be positive that the tree has ROD, you would have to submit a sample for testing.

On Kauaʻi, we are asking everyone to help prevent the spread of ROD by doing these five things:

  1. Avoid injuring the bark, branches, or leaves of ʻōhiʻa trees.
  2. Don’t move ʻōhiʻa wood or ʻōhiʻa parts.
  3. Don’t transport ʻōhiʻa wood or parts inter-island.
  4. Clean gear and tools, including shoes and clothes, before and after entering forests. Brush all soil off of tools and gear, then spray with 70% rubbing alcohol. Wash clothes with hot water and soap.
  5. Wash the tires and undercarriage of your vehicle to remove all soil or mud when off-roading or have picked up mud from driving.

Our collaborative team is also laying the groundwork to reach out across Kaua’i to reach specific groups of people who can help spread the word and help prevent the spread, such as; large equipment operators, large land-owners, cultural practitioners, and all forest users.

For more information:



New threat to Hawaiian trees underscores need for prevention of spread

Guest blog by Faith Campbell with the Center for Invasive Species Prevention

The Hawaiian Islands’ remaining native forests are dominated by the ʻōhiʻa lehua tree (Metrosideros polymorpha). The tree provides nectar for the Islands’ unique honeycreepers- a subfamily of native Hawaiian birds. These birds, the Islands’ one native terrestrial mammal (Hawaiian hoary bat), and many of its endangered plant species depend on ʻōhiʻa-dominated forests. ‘Ōhi‘a also has significant cultural values to the Hawaiian people through its connection to the deities Ku, Pele (volcanoes) and Laka (hula).

‘Ōhi‘a trees on the “Big Island” (the island of Hawaii) are being killed by Ceratocystis Wilt of ‘Ōhi‘a or Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (Ceratocystis fimbriata).  First detected in 2010, the new disease had killed more than half the ʻōhiʻa lehua trees on an area totaling 6,000 acres by 2014. Another 10,000 acres had lower but still significant mortality. The infestation is approaching Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

At this time, there is no known protective treatment or cure for the disease but thankfully the disease has not yet been reported on any of the other Hawaiian Islands. Because it is not yet known exactly how the disease spreads, to protect the other islands, the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture has adopted an emergency quarantine prohibiting movement of ʻōhiʻa lehua flowers, leaves, twigs, wood (including firewood), mulch, and greenwaste, off the Big Island. To learn more about the specifics of the quarantine, visit:

Forestry officials also urge people to avoid transporting wood of affected ʻōhiʻa trees to any new areas on the Big Island and to clean pruning tools, chain saws, vehicles, and shoes used off-road in infected forest areas.  People with homes at higher elevations and on the windward (wet) slopes – such as those living outside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – do have wood-burning fires, and movement of ʻōhiʻa tree firewood to these homes should be avoided as a precaution. The native forests of Hawaii have many threats to their unique trees – making the need to avoid spreading this new and damaging tree disease all the more important.


For more information and complete citations, please visit the Ceratocystis Wilt of ‘Ōhi‘a gallery page

Emerald ash borer reaches Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Guest blog contributed by Faith Campbell, Center for Invasive Species Prevention

May we all pause to send our condolences to Maryland?

Maryland has fought for a dozen years to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer.  State agency leaders knew they had ash resources worth protecting:  more than 200,000 trees in the state’s principal city, Baltimore.  Ashes are the most common tree in the city.  The surrounding counties have even more- up to an estimated 6.5 million ash trees.

And millions of ash protect water quality and forest ecosystems of the native riparian areas and wetlands around the Chesapeake Bay.  Ash constitute about 4% of the state’s trees, with higher densities in the lowland and wetland areas of the Eastern Shore – the parts of the state east of the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland almost defines itself by the Bay, so the state has focused on trying to prevent EAB from reaching the Eastern Shore. This summer, officials learned that they have lost that battle.

According to a report by Jonathan Wilson of radio station WAMU, EAB have been caught in monitoring traps in two counties on the Shore.

Officials suspect the beetle reached the Shore in loads of firewood driven across the Bay Bridge; the trap on Kent Island, the eastern terminus of the bridge, held dozens of beetles.  Steve Bell of Maryland’s Department of Agriculture says that means that EAB is well established and has already begun reproducing in the area.

Maryland staff checking a purple trap- photo courtesy MD Dept Agriculture, EAB Program

The story in Baltimore is a familiar one.  The city must find the $1 million it will cost to manage the 5,000 street trees that are ash species- and thus will be affected.  The city’s entire tree management budget is only $3 million dollars, so very difficult tree management choices loom.

Maryland has hopes that the parasitic wasps introduced as biocontrol agents might eventually curtail EAB populations and resulting damage. This is a potentially effective long term solution- only time will tell if it will work in Maryland.

In the short run, we know that trees vital to both urban and rural/wildland areas will die. So let us pause to mourn Maryland’s loss.

Editor’s note: the Federal Order for Maryland’s full inclusion in the EAB quarantine was released 7/23/2015, “APHIS Adds All of Maryland to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area”


Top 3 Frozen Forest Pests

Exceptionally severe cold weather can reduce populations of some native and non-native forest pests, giving the trees a temporary reprieve. Here’s a quick round up of three forest pests very likely to freeze into tiny larvae-sicles during vicious cold snaps.

1. Emerald ash borer suffer some losses when it is extremely cold. The larvae of emerald ash borer contain a natural antifreeze- but it only works to around -13F / -25C. Below those already incredibly cold temperatures, they will freeze and die. Read this Minnesota Public Radio article, or this technical scientific paper, to glory in their frozen demise. On the other hand, some of the parasitoid wasps that kill and eat emerald ash borer are also vulnerable to extreme cold. Read all about that in this scientific paper if you want to get deep into the details.

2. Hemlock woolly adelgid might not be woolly enough. It needs to be fully -22F / -30C to start killing hemlock woolly adelgids under their tiny wool coats, but that’ll do it. Read the scientific paper here.

3. Southern pine beetle is native to the Southern US, but it is increasingly creeping north and becoming a pest of more northerly forests, like in New Jersey and Long Island, New York. Good news! It dies out when winters reach -8F / -22C for at least a season or two. For more on bark beetles and when they freeze their tarsi off, try this article.

On the other hand, Entomology Today has an excellent explainer titled, Falling Temperatures do not Necessarily Mean Fewer Insects. It is well accepted by most scientists that cold events do not eliminate populations of insects- they just reduce them to lower levels for a season or two. Even just being insulated by snow can be enough to keep a few larvae alive at the base of a tree, allowing for enough survivors to build populations back up in a year or two . And of course, you can’t count on the cold to render your firewood safe to move, either- the wood in the center of the pile might be a lot less cold than the wood at the edges, permitting survival in there, too.


The Asian spongy moth problem

The Asian spongy moth attacks many hardwood or deciduous trees as well as several conifers, including Douglas fir, hemlock, larch, pine, and spruce. Since the female Asian spongy moths can fly – unlike the European spongy moth already widespread in the Northeast USA– it spreads more rapidly.

Asian spongy moths are found in the Russian Far East, China, Korea, and Japan. Like all moths, they are attracted to lights – including lights at ports where ships are loaded. The females then lay their eggs on the ships.

To protect our forests, U.S. and Canadian customs agencies inspect ships coming from northern Asia; ships found with moth eggs attached to the ship or its cargo must return to the open sea and clean off the eggs. Inspecting the ships is difficult, time-consuming, dangerous – and not always a perfect process – which leaves our forests vulnerable.

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico have adopted a regional standard that makes China, Korea, and Japan responsible for ensuring that the ships travelling to North America are not carrying spongy moth eggs. They must inspect the ships, monitor moth populations in ports and nearby forests, and take other actions to reduce the likelihood of moths laying eggs on the ships. For example, moths are not attracted to lights of a certain wavelength, so using those specific types of lighting reduces the risk while allowing port operations to continue.

This program was applied to Russia in the mid-1990s. It has worked: few ships from Russia now carry spongy moth eggs.

China, Korea, and Japan are now gearing up their programs – but improvement is needed. In 2012, 31 ships with egg masses were detected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and required to leave port until they could pass inspection.

Given how difficult it is to inspect ships, it would be easy for some egg masses to escape detection and hatch – starting another outbreak in North America. If it gets established, the Asian spongy moth could easily be transported on firewood, just like the European spongy moth. Remember – even if a pest outbreak has not been officially detected, the risk is still present.

BREAKING: Emerald ash borer found in Berkshire County MA

This just in! A press release from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has announced an adult emerald ash borer was found on a purple trap in Dalton, Massachusetts. Please note that the author of this press release is NOT Don't Move Firewood, it is the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. The entirety of the release is below.


State Officials Confirm Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Massachusetts for First Time


Press Release Contacts:  SJ Port — 617-626-1453 or; Krista Selmi — 617-626-1109 or


Boston – September 12, 2012 – Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) today announced that the Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected in Massachusetts. The destructive beetle was detected in the western Massachusetts town of Dalton on August 31, 2012, and was confirmed by federal officials on September 6. Massachusetts is the 18th state in the country to detect EAB.


DCR and DAR officials are working together, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the USDA’s United States Forest Service to take a number of swift proactive steps aimed at preventing the spread of the invasive beetle, including:


  • Defining a quarantine area that would only allow the movement of certain wood products under certain conditions.
  • A de-limiting survey to help identify the extent of the infestation.
  • Working with stakeholders to ensure they know how to properly treat or dispose of infested trees and materials.
  • A survey with federal agencies to determine how long the area in which EAB has been present in our state, information which will help determine strategies in how to best address the threat.
  • DCR will also maintain a ban that has been in place against bringing any firewood into state parks and forests.


“The Emerald ash borer brings a very serious threat to our ash trees, and we are not taking its presence lightly,” said DCR Commissioner Ed Lambert. “We are taking swift action to address the infestation, and are working to mitigate any impact an infestation could bring.”


“Together with DCR, we are moving forward to develop and implement the best strategies to contain this invasive pest,” said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.


Regulated items that would fall under quarantine include the following:


  • The Emerald ash borer, in any living stage of development;
  • Firewood of all hardwood species;
  • Nursery stock of the genus (Ash);
  • Green lumber of the genus (Ash);
  • Other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips of the genus (Ash);
  • Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that an inspector determines presents a risk of spreading Emerald ash borer and notifies the person in possession of the article, product, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the restrictions of the regulations.


The EAB is a small, flying beetle, native to Asia. It was first discovered in North America in 2002, in the Detroit, Michigan area. Unlike other invasive beetles, the EAB can kill a tree fast, within just a few years, because it bores directly under the bark, where the tree’s conductive system is. Since its discovery in North America, it has killed millions of ash trees and has caused billions of dollars in economic loss across the nation.


Ash is a main component of the Northern Hardwood forest in Massachusetts and is a common species in the Berkshires.  Ash is also a common street tree in eastern Massachusetts.


Residents are urged to take the time to learn the signs of EAB tree damage and be sure to report any sightings.


  • Look for tiny, D-shaped exit holes in the bark of ash trees, die-back in the upper third of the tree canopy, and sprouting of branches just below this dead area.
  • The Emerald ash borer is a tiny, emerald-green metallic beetle, so small that seven of them could fit on the head of a penny.


To report suspicious tree damage or insect sightings, or to learn more about this pest, visit You can also call the toll free EAB hotline at 1-866-322-4512.


More information about EAB:


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