James Rogers, Conservation Officer 

Forestry/Tree Harvesting Bylaw Enforcement

James Rogers, Conservation Officer

Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis (Fairmaire)


Adult beetles are metallic blue-green, narrow, hairless, elongate, 8.5 to 14.0 mm long and 3.1 to 3.4 mm wide. The head is flat and the vertex is shield-shaped. The eyes are bronze or black and kidney shaped. The prothorax is slightly wider than the head and is transversely rectangular, but is the same width as the anterior margin of the elytra. The posterior margins of the elytra are round and obtuse with small tooth-like projections on the edge.

Mature larvae are 26 to 32 mm long and creamy white. The body is flat and broad shaped. The posterior ends of some segments are bell-shaped. The abdomen is 10-segmented. The 1st 8 segments each have one pair of spiracles and the last segment has one pair of brownish, pincer-like appendages. Larvae overwinter under the bark and pupate in April or May; adults emerge approximately two weeks later.

Lastest news and information about the Emerald Ash Borer can be found at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/pestrava/agrpla/survenqe.shtml

Emerald Ash Borer FAQ

What is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive invasive beetle. It is a pest of ash trees. It was confirmed as present in Canada in the summer of 2002. It has killed a large number of ash trees in North America and poses a major economic and environmental threat to urban and forested areas across Canada and the United States. The emerald ash borer does not pose a risk to human health.

What does the emerald ash borer look like?

The beetle is metallic green in colour and is 8.5 to 14.0 millimetres long (about 1/5 inch) and 3.1 to 3.4 millimetres wide (1/8 inch). While the back of the insect is an iridescent, metallic green, the underside is a bright emerald green. The body is narrow and elongated, and the head is flat. The eyes are kidney shaped and usually black. Emerald ash borer larvae are white and flat, with distinctive bell-shaped segments, and can grow up to 30 millimetres long (1 inch).

What trees species are susceptible to attack by the emerald ash borer?

In North America, the emerald ash borer has been found to attack and kill all North American species of ash (Fraxinus spp.). The mountain ash (Sorbus spp.) is not related to ash trees and the insect does not attack that tree. Infested ash trees in North America generally die after two to three years, but heavily infested trees have been observed to die after only one year of beetle attack.

How serious a threat is the emerald ash borer?

The emerald ash borer poses a very serious threat to all species of ash trees throughout their range in the United States and Canada. During the relatively short time that the emerald ash borer has been in North America, it is believed to have killed millions of trees in the United States and Canada, with billions more across North America at risk of infestation and death.

What is the importance of ash trees?

Ash trees are an important part of Canada’s urban and rural landscape. They are commonly found on city streets, in woodlots, in windbreaks and in forests across southern Canada. In many areas of western Canada, ash trees are one of the few suitable for planting in urban areas.

Further information on the Emerald Ash Borer can be found by visiting the links below: