How should our community respond to emerald ash borer?

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1. No, you are not premature in sounding the alarm, as the emerald ash borer (EAB) is a direct threat to Oregon ash and all the planted and naturalized non-native ash in Oregon. However, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) are doing surveys at this time to determine the exact distribution of the infestation that was discovered near Forest Grove.

Once they have determined the extent of the outbreak, that will define our immediate response. We don’t recommend going out and cutting down all your ash trees right away because we don’t know whether the outbreak will spread yet. ODA and ODF need to determine the exact geographic distribution of EAB in Oregon.

The message to the public should include:

  • EAB has been discovered in Oregon in June of 2022 and is being surveyed to determine extent of infestation and how to specifically respond in that area.
  • Keep an eye on your ash trees, and if it appears they are declining check for EAB.
  • Report any sightings to the Invasive Species website.

Links for resources on EAB and how to identify it:

2. Some cities in eastern Oregon were not included because there was no documentation in regional plant distribution maps. Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia) was typically mapped in western Oregon, but the green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) was included in eastern Oregon because it is naturalized in some riparian areas.

The isolation distance may make a difference and be a reason for some optimism, but this insect seems to show up everywhere, perhaps due to the movement of firewood. You are right to prohibit any new planting of ash, and I would recommend keeping an eye on your trees.

In the event that EAB becomes detected in your area, check out this article for next steps:

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