Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
Emerald Ash Borer Information (Updated March 2022)
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive wood boring beetle that feeds on the tissues under the bark of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) and kills them. The metallic green beetle is native to East Asia and was accidentally imported to the United States within the wood of shipping crates from China. EAB was initially discovered in North America near Detroit, Michigan in 2002. Since then the beetle has spread rapidly to a great number eastern and Midwestern states, including Wisconsin.
Click here for the most current map of the range of the infestation.
Residents and affected businesses may move hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock or ash logs or timber within Wisconsin, except for non-quarantined tribal areas. For out-of-state movement, they need to check with USDA-APHIS.
However, moving firewood is still a bad idea. It may carry pests and diseases other than EAB, including gypsy moth, oak wilt, or even pests that have not yet been discovered.
DNR restricts firewood movement onto DNR managed properties in Wisconsin. The wood must have been purchased within 10 miles of the DNR land, or be certified by the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
The US Forest Service requires that firewood be purchased within 25 miles of national forests, or be certified by the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
2020 brought an end to our 10-Year Emerald Ash Borer Initiative. We are now continuing to treat approximately 800 high-quality Village ash. Through this initiative we have been able to control the potential catastrophic loss of ash that would have happened in a short timeframe if we had not taken this approach. On the plus side, we have been able to introduce a diverse tree species mix into 8,000+ public tree population. By making these management decisions, we are confident that any future significant disease or insect attack on our trees will be of limited scope due to the expanded tree diversity that is now in place.
The Village's 2022 Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Treatment Program will be starting in mid-June. Approximately 400 public ash trees (trees located directly behind roadside ditches in most areas) are planned to be treated in 2022. Trees that are part of the EAB treatment program are marked with double fluorescent green dots at the base of the tree, on the street side. The two dots signify that the tree is being treated with a trunk injected product named emamectin benzoate. Two horizontal dots indicate the treatment is performed in odd-numbered years (2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 etc.) and two vertical dots indicate treatment in even-numbered years (2016, 2018, 2020, 2022 etc.). This trunk injection treatment is effective for two years. Licensed Pesticide Applicators contracted by the Village are required to post warning signs at the pesticide application site. The signs must remain in place until sunset the day following the application. Residents are encouraged to remove and dispose of the signs after this time.
In southeastern Wisconsin (EAB) was first discovered on August 1, 2008 in Newburg, a small community in Ozaukee County located approximately 25 miles to the north-northwest of the Village of Fox Point. In August 2009, EAB was discovered in Milwaukee County in the City of Franklin. Emerald Ash borer (EAB) continues to spread throughout Milwaukee County and southeastern Wisconsin. In 2011, the Village Board approved an EAB Initiative to put in place a management strategy to best manage the Village’s public ash population through the EAB infestation period.
A Real Threat
EAB is not a threat to human health but it does threaten our forest and urban tree populations. EAB is 100 percent fatal to our native ash trees of any size, any age, healthy or unhealthy that are not under a treatment program (according to research by Michigan State University and the US Forest Service).
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) have resources on their websites that discuss proactive ways in which residents can try to limit the impact and slow the spread of EAB. We encourage Village residents to visit the links listed below to educate themselves about the ramifications of EAB. The Village of Fox Point has been following the guidance provided by these departments and has engaged various management options to combat the beetle.
“When should I start treatment if I want to protect an ash tree on my property?” Unfortunately, there are differing opinions to this question and the facts are not fully conclusive. There is still much to be learned. One consistent fact to keep in mind, wherever new finds of EAB have been detected; the insect has already been there for 3 to 6 years. This is important information to consider as you make your decision about treatment. Not all ash trees should be treated; it is a personal decision. Healthy, high value, important trees are possible candidates for treatment: specimen trees, ones shading a home or patio, etc. Regrettably it is probably too late to begin a treatment program at this time if your ash are not already being treated.
In many situations, planting a new tree may be better than trying to save an ash in average condition. If you choose this option, be sure to plant a species of tree that you do not already have on your property. This will help head off future invasive problems and increase the tree species diversity in the Village.
Currently, the Village is not offering assistance for ash trees on private property. Residents concerned about managing ash trees on their property are encouraged to contact an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist. A listing of certified arborists “for hire” is located on the Wisconsin Arborist Association website https://www.waa-isa.org/find-certified-arborist/
We also recommend that Village residents use only firewood from their property or firewood purchased from a reputable local dealer. Infested firewood is the primary transportation means for the beetle.