NC Forestry Service Warning Of Deadly EAB Infestation In Charlotte

An invasive bug that has killed millions of trees in North Carolina has now reached Charlotte.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation appears to have killed several trees near South Tryon Street and Billy Graham Parkway.

eab in charlotte

EAB infestations begin with leaf loss at the tree tops, followed by tunnels under loose bark, and sprouts at the tree’s base. The EAB, a metallic green beetle, bores into ash trees and feeds on tissues beneath the bark, ultimately killing the tree. Adult borers lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. When the eggs hatch, larvae bore into the bark and feed on tree tissues. This process disrupts nutrient and water movement, causing the tree’s slow death, typically within three to five years.

Signs of EAB infestation include thinning crowns, increased woodpecker activity, and small, 1/8-inch D-shaped exit holes where adult beetles emerged. Additionally, symptoms include galleries inside the bark, cream-colored larvae, and epicormic sprouting from the tree’s main stem. Host plants include all native ash trees and native white fringetrees. The Chinese white fringetree, often planted for ornamental purposes, is believed to be resistant.

Adult EAB beetles are about a half-inch long and 1/8-inch wide. Under their wing covers, their bodies are metallic purple-red. In North Carolina, the adult EAB is typically active from late spring to early summer, usually from April through June. EAB larvae may be found under the tree bark most of the year.

“EAB has been found in more than 75% of North Carolina counties including all of Western North Carolina, most of the Piedmont and continues to track east,” The NC Forestry Service said in a press release. “The entire state is under a quarantine for EAB which prohibits the movement of ash plant parts, the insect itself, ash nursery stock and all hardwood firewood into nonquarantined areas such as central Tennessee, most of Alabama and Florida.”

The City of Charlotte is now asking all residents to report possible sighting of EAB to 800-206-9333 or [email protected]



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