EAB Management for Homeowners

Threats to your ash tree’s health may be lurking in your neighborhood or woodlot.   As a property owner you can take steps to reduce the threat and spread of EAB by following these simple guidelines.  Doing so will contribute to healthy urban and rural forests in Wisconsin.

EAB, first observed in Wisconsin in 2008, is a significant threat to the health of Wisconsin’s ash resource. Here’s what you can do about it:

  • Keep EAB infested wood in place – do not move it off your property.
  • Keep hardwood firewood local – do not move your own from your property and if you are buying it, buy from a local or certified firewood dealer.
  • Protect high value ash trees with products that are labeled for controlling EAB.
  • Replace infested ash with other tree species.

Research has shown that EAB-infested trees may show no symptoms until they have been infested for more than two to three years. Assume that all ash trees within 15 miles of a known infestation are infested (which applies to all of Ashwaubenon).

1. Treat with an Insecticide
Treat with an insecticide only if the tree is apparently healthy or less than 40 percent of the crown has died, is discolored or has sparse foliage.  Research has shown that trees with more than 40-50 percent crown dieback do not benefit from treatment.

Treating with an insecticide reduces the population of EAB and prolongs the life of your tree. Treatment will be an on-going commitment to ensure continuous protection from EAB… treatments will be needed for the rest of the tree’s life. To determine the suitability of your trees for treatment consult the UW-Extension Publication Is My Ash Tree Worth Treating for Emerald Ash Borer? or contact an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist for an evaluation of your treatment options. 

2. Remove and Replace
This is an option for ash in all stages of health.  Contact an arborist to remove trees in your yard and to appropriately process wood to prevent additional spread of EAB. Replace trees with a non-ash species suitable to your site. A list of replacement trees can be found at: Alternative to Ash Trees.

3. Do Nothing
Observations in states where EAB has been present for several years show that all ash trees are susceptible to infestation and mortality. If you take this option, expect your tree to become infested and die.  Be prepared to handle the hazards associated with dead trees such as falling branches which may damage property or endanger life.