New research is pointing to a disturbing find: The Asian invasive pest known as the emerald ash borer (EAB), which was thought to only affect ash trees, has been found using our native white fringe tree (Chionanthus virginicus) as a host.

EAB was first discovered in Michigan in 2002 and has since killed millions of green and white ash trees. Control is proving very difficult since, by the time an ash tree is showing visible signs of stress, the EAB larvae have already done extensive damage inside the tree by feeding on live tissue.


Shenandoah National Park is trying to slow the spread of this devastating invasive insect by banning all firewood from outside the park. However, EAB was discovered within park boundaries in the summer of 2014. Visitors in the park and numerous counties in Virginia may notice purple monitoring traps hanging from trees which help to delineate how far this invasive pest has spread.

The White Fringe Tree is in the same family as ash. Research is underway to discover ways to protect both species of tree and slow the spread of this invasive.  To read the research paper on EAB and white fringe tree by Don Cipollini on click here.

Image Credits:

EAB Beetle: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_ash_borer

EAB Trap:  http://blog.arborjet.com/2009/09/searching-for-ash-borer-in-wisconsin/

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