More on the Emerald Ash Borer

Wild turkeys found some ash tree seed nourishment after the heavy winter snows. Even in winter, keeping up with Emerald Ash borer information is worthwhile.

More than four years ago, Yankton heard the alert when an Emerald ash borer was identified in Omaha and Sioux Falls ash trees. With highway travel and rivers linking the cities, soon finding the pest nearby seemed likely. Ash trees are common in the cities and the Missouri River and Big Sioux watersheds. 

Quarantines to prohibit firewood and ash materials out of counties with infestations include Minnehaha, Lincoln, Turner, and Union counties and communities of Sioux Falls, Sioux City, IA, Brandon, Worthing, Canton, Crooks, and Dakota Dunes. Campers are urged to buy and burn the firewood where they camp.

Dr. John Ball, professor, SDSU Extension Forestry Specialist, and South Dakota Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources (SDDANR) Forest Health Specialist, has been involved in the pest response and has provided public Emerald Ash borer (EAB) updates on several occasions in Yankton. 

His Pest Alert at is a way to learn more about Emerald Ash borer response. The January 18-25 Pest Alert includes recent findings. He monitors Growing Degree Days when air temperatures are 50 degrees F. and higher because “temperatures above 50 degrees F. for most plant and pest development to proceed.”

Ball’s Pest Alert tells that the EAB larvae spend the winter in sapwood chambers. The sapwood, bark, and natural anti-freeze protect the larvae. In temperatures down to -18 degrees F. there are some larvae lost due to less insulation of smaller branches. Frigid days and -35- degrees F. for the whole night would be needed to kill most of the EAB in a community.

Ball refers to Dakota Dunes as a community with a proactive EAB program. South Dakota Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and SDDANR foresters completed a tree inventory two years ago. About a third of their trees are ash, a common finding in eastern SD communities.

They began a five-year plan for removal and replanting that keeps a neighborhood from having all the street trees removed at the same time. Trees are replaced to encourage diversity of kinds of trees. When evidence of EAB infestation in Dakota Dunes was found recently, some landowners chose to treat their ash trees with insecticidal trunk injections, and contacting commercial applicators to schedule treatment this May or June, is recommended.

Ash trees along the Missouri River by Dakota Dunes were found to be EAB infested. This riparian strip by the river contains mature cottonwoods, hackberries, boxelders with a few American elms, white mulberry, silver maple, etc. 

“Removing about two-thirds of the infested ash trees can reduce the beetle population by half, which can reduce the rate of ash mortality. “Targeted removals and trap trees are the best management for the riparian forest.”  Dr. Ball’s email:

Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange Blog. We appreciate the “Likes” for posts you enjoy and thank our loyal “Followers” who visit for the weekly post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s