How To Fight The Tiny, Yet Terrible Emerald Ash Borer

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

April 11, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 5:17 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- If you see crews cutting down hundreds of trees in your neighborhood this summer, blame the emerald ash borer.

Purdue Master Gardeners presented the first of two seminars Monday night.

The topic, an invasive species, named the emerald ash borer, which is sucking the life out of Fort Wayne ash trees.

The Asian beetle is so small, one can fit inside the width of a penny.

Indiana's NewsCenter attended the seminar, which was held at the Allen County Extension Office, to learn the latest about the tiny, terrible pest.

Experts told Indiana's NewsCenter that the Fort Wayne area is home to tens of thousands of ash trees.

Arborists estimate that 20% of all the trees in the Fort Wayne area are ash trees.

Here's a how to guide for homeowners who want to self-diagnose their ash trees.

If your tree has lost more than 50% of its tree top, it is probably too late to save your tree.

However, if your tree has lost less than 50% of its canopy, experts told Indiana's NewsCenter if that tree is treated immediately, homeowners may be able to fight off the emerald ash borer.

Experts shared numerous examples of how to treat ash trees but revealed that "smaller" trees can be treated more effectively.

However, one resident who attended the seminar believes her ash tree is a lost cause.

"At this point because it is so old and so large, I don't think it's gonna be worth trying to do it since the canopy is less than 50% now," said Fort Wayne Resident Kay Musgrave.

"So what I'm going to do is wait until it really gets to be a hazard and then we'll take it down. In the meantime, I'm gonna leave it up and maybe the woodpeckers can enjoy the ash borer," explained Musgrave.

The city of Fort Wayne will cut down about 3,000 ash trees this year.

However, only 1,200 to 1,500 of those ash trees will be replaced.

"With money being tight and everything, it's gonna be hard to replace all of those (ash) trees so I think we need to try to save them," said Master Gardener & Wildwood Park Resident Laurie Proctor.

Meanwhile, homeowners can try to fight the emerald ash borer on their own but professionals are allowed to use stronger pesticides.

Therefore, if your budget allows, your best bet is to contact an arborist.

The next seminar will be held at the Aboite Library branch on Monday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, call the Allen County Extension office at 260-481-6826.

Meanwhile, the Allen County Master Gardeners Plant Diagnostics Team has compiled the following list of Emerald Ash Borer resources.


Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer University

Indiana Arborist Association

Indiana DNR

Michigan State University

North Central Integrated Pest Management Center (NC-IPM)


U.S. Department of Agriculture. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
Biological Control of EAB

Ash Tree Identification

Michigan State University

Insecticide Information



Replacement Trees

Click on EAB Management → Replacement Trees

Fort Wayne City Tree Recommendations
“Suitable Trees for Fort Wayne Streets”
Click on Park Maintenance → Street Trees → FAQ Street Trees → Can I plant a tree myself in the street right of way?

Fort Wayne City Tree Information
Fort Wayne City

Fort Wayne City, Parks and Recreation
Click on Park Maintenance → Street Trees

Chad Tinkel, City Arborist

Urban Tree Management Resources

Indiana Urban Forest Council

What are your thoughts CLICK HERE to leave us a "QUESTION OF THE DAY” comment.

© Copyright 2016, A Quincy Media broadcasting station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.