Emerald Ash Borer

September 13, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has now been found in Boston with a positive identification at the Arnold Arboretum.  The insect (originally from Asia) had already been found in the Northeast and it was only a matter of time before it was found so close to Mount Auburn Cemetery.  EAB is a great concern because it has killed millions of Ash trees (Fraxinus) in North America and our native Ash trees have no resistance to the pest.

Emerald Ash Borer Figure 1 Adult. David Cappaert, Michigan State University, www.invasive.org

Emerald Ash Borer
Figure 1 Adult.
David Cappaert, Michigan State University, www.invasive.org

We have  17 Ash trees in our collection, 16 of which are native Ash species with our one exotic tree being the Balkan Ash (Fraxinus holotricha) located at the intersection of Field and Meadow roads.  The Balkan Ash, along with the resistant Asian Ash species,  are currently being used in USDA programs to try to breed new trees that are resistant to the EAB – our Balkan Ash is definitely a tree to watch when EAB’s presence is found on the grounds!

Mount Auburn’s  arborists are conducting  visual inspections of our Ash collection to determine if EAB is present and are exploring the use of pesticides to preserve key trees on the grounds.  Our management policy, like that used for the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, is to monitor, try to preserve key trees, and safely remove infected trees when they become hazardous.

Mount Auburn also participates with the Sentinel Plant Network (SPN) and we’ve placed signs near select trees with QR codes that visitors can scan to learn more about tree pests and diseases.  SPN’s website is:  .

To learn more or to report suspicious tree damage or insect sightings, visit the website of the Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project (http://massnrc.org/pests/), or call the toll-free EAB hotline, 1-866-322-4512.

About the Author: Stephen Jackson

Plant Records Manager View all posts by Stephen Jackson →

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