What you need to know about the emerald ash borer

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle from Asia that is causing damage to tens of millions of trees across the U.S. Now, 22 trees in Victor Ashe are showing signs of infestation.

The beetle only attacks ash trees and can kill the tree within three years of the initial infestation. According to the national emerald ash borer website, the adult beetles cause little damage to the trees, but the larvae eat the inner bark of the tree. This makes it impossible for trees to effectively distribute water and nutrients.

Adults are about a half inch long and fly in May and June. Larvae live most of the year beneath the bark of the tree.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has several preventative measure to stop the infestation of the emerald ash borer:

Don't transport firewood, even within the state. Buy wood from a local source when you go camping. Never take firewood home with you. Don't buy firewood from outside the state.

Watch for signs of infestation in the ash trees near your home. Click through the slideshow above to see signs of an infestation. You can report any signs of emerald ash borers by calling 1-800-628-2631.


Distinct D-shaped exit holes in the bark. Courtesy: TN Dept of Agriculture