LINCOLN – The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) confirmed a find of emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that attacks and kills all species of ash trees, in a tree located on private property in Greenwood which is located in Cass County.


This find marks the second confirmed infested tree found in the state.   According to NDA Director Greg Ibach the heightened sense of awareness about EAB from homeowners and municipalities has increased the amount of citizen calls the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, along with the Nebraska Forest Service, have taken recently, which ultimately will lead to additional finds of the beetle.


“We anticipate finding additional infested trees as homeowners begin to more readily recognize the signs and symptoms of EAB in their ash trees and report those symptoms,” said Director Ibach.  “While the complete eradication of EAB is not an option, the quarantine will help to slow the human-assisted spread of the beetle; thus giving homeowners and municipalities additional time to consider their options and make decisions about the future of their ash trees.”


EAB is a small, metallic-green beetle that is about ½ inch long.  The larvae of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die.  EAB infested ash trees will exhibit thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree, S-shaped larval galleries under bark, D-shaped exit holes and suckers (along the trunk and main branches).


Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge counties remain under the quarantine that was issued last week which includes prohibiting ash nursery stock from leaving the quarantine area and regulates the movement of hardwood firewood and mulch, ash timber products and green waste material out of quarantined area to prevent the human-assisted spread of the pest into un-infested areas.


The Nebraska EAB working group offers the following suggestions to help prevent the human-assisted spread of the pest:

  • Use locally-sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where you purchased it.  Firewood is a transportation vessel for the pest.
  • Only high value ash tress located within 15 miles of a known infestation should be considered for treatment.  Trees that are experiencing declining health should be considered for removal.
  • If you feel you have located an EAB infestation, please report it to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at (402) 471-2351, the Nebraska Forest Service at (402) 472-2944 or your local USDA office at (402) 434-2345.


Additional information on EAB, including the quarantine information, can be found on our website at: http://www.nda.nebraska.gov/plant/entomology/eab/.  Additional information on EAB and Nebraska specific recommendations and guidelines can be found at www.eabne.info.