Is Emerald Ash Borer Ever Going Away?

Written by: John Wayne Farber, Board Certified Master Arborist (BCMA) WI-0877B, Certified Treecare Safety Professional 01462

What is the future of ash trees? Will Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) ever go away? These are good questions as we head into a third decade of the EAB crisis.

Several studies have some preliminary evidence of possible genetic resistance in the remaining ash tree populations. It seems some trees can survive (not thrive), at least in low-density EAB populations. This offers hope that perhaps if we look hard enough and select trees that show resistance, through breeding practices we might be able to keep native genomes. The more practical way we may be able to continue to enjoy ash trees is through hybridizing native trees with ash trees that survived in areas of Asia where EAB occurs naturally. Through lessons learned from the elm trees,