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Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) was first detected into North America in 2002 and has resulted in the loss of millions of trees. It is estimated that up to 99% of ash trees are lost in the 8-10 years following the arrival of EAB. In Calgary we have over 76,000 public ash trees, with many more on private land. This means EAB poses a severe threat to our urban canopy. As of 2023, EAB has not been found in Canada west of Manitoba. 

Signs and Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer is a wood boring beetle which burrows beneath the bark of ash (Fraxinus sp.) trees and stop the flow of water and nutrients up the tree. Eventually this leads to the death of the tree. Some common signs of EAB infestation include:

  • D-shaped exit holes
  • Thinning or yellowing of the crown
  • S-shaped galleries beneath the surface of the bark
  • Epicormic shoots (also known as water sprouts or suckers) growing from the trunk of the tree
  • Woodpecker damage or presence of woodpeckers in the winter

Adult EAB beetles are metallic green, about 8.5 to 14mm long, and 3 mm wide.

What you can do

EAB can spread up to 20km per year under its own power, but with the unintentional human assistance it can spread much faster. The transport of infested ash products, such as firewood, is the primary method of human assisted dispersal. The number one thing to stop the spread of EAB is to Burn It Where You Buy It’, and don’t transport firewood from place to place.

If you see a tree that shows signs of EAB infestation or spot a beetle that you suspect might be EAB, please contact 311.

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