Emerald Ash Borer Monitoring

The Forestry Resources Program has been involved in monitoring for the destructive insect called the emerald ash borer (EAB). The threat it poses to the ash tree resources are great. Many state and federal agencies in the US and Canada are going to extreme measures to control this destructive insect. In the areas that have been infected the ash have faced almost complete destruction and the possibility of the ash genus (Fraxinus) becoming extinct are real. Like the Chestnut and Elm in the past the land will be changed greatly. In New York State 10% of the trees are in the Ash genus, this covers white ash (Fraxinus Americana - tool handles, major league base ball bats, etc.), Green ash (Fraxinus Pennsylvanica), and black ash (Fraxinus Nigra - Basket trees). 

  • View of the top of the tree, has epicormic branching (additional branches due to stress/trying to get more leaves out), this tree was not in the best health, that is why it was chosen as a trap/survey tree, EAB tend to prefer sick trees naturally, and make healthy ones sick. For trapping its better to use unhealthy but live ash trees.
  • Dead branches and canopy dieback

Pictures taken by

Setanta O'Ceillaigh, Forestry Technician, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe - Environment Division

How is the EAB threat being monitored?

With help from the USDA monitoring surveys are being done in Akwesasne. For the past two years the Forestry Resources personnel have set monitoring traps in ash trees. They look like a purple box hanging in a tree. The box is a color that attracts the EAB, inside is a lure made from tree oils that smell like an ash tree in distress (food for the EAB), the box has sticky glue on it that catches and holds EAB if they come to the trap. It also catches a great many biting flies and a few others. It is no hazard to birds or other wildlife. The traps are placed in or very close to ash trees that are suitable trap trees (having a good branch to hang the trap on and preferable an already stressed tree). The EAB adult form only lives a short time, in that time the traps are set out over a grid that lines up with other grid spaces over multiple counties. Periodically the person who set the trap will check it by taking it down and looking at the samples, any which look like a potential EAB are sent in for identification. The goal of this trap survey is to act as an early warning method. If an EAB is found in a trap a more intense survey will be done to determine the extent of EAB populations and control methods can be used. Other trap methods are available but are labor intensive and not very effective. All traps set in Akwesasne are set by personnel working at the Environment Division.

Information on the EAB is readily available and updates come in daily. For more information contact Forestry Resources. Currently the EAB populations closest to Akwesasne are in NY near Randolph NY (South of Buffalo), or in Canada (Toronto and Ottawa). 

Environment Division >>Forestry >>EAB Monitoring - Page 1