Emerald Ash Beetle

Asked July 27, 2016, 1:32 PM EDT

Has this pest come to Bernalillo County? It is spreading through Denver

Bernalillo County New Mexico

1 Response

To date, I have not received specimens or evidence of EAB's presence anywhere in NM. I identify arthropods from all sources for both NM Dept. of Agriculture and NMSU-Cooperative Extension Service.

Currently, EAB is verified in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado despite headlines you might find on the internet. Those aren't correct and you'll see that if you read their story. Go with information from Colorado State University or USDA, not the tree services or blogs.

In NM, the big freeze of 2011 set the stage for many of our more recent problems with ash. Before that---and also since that---improper planting practices (too deep or too shallow) are also contributing to ash problems in NM.

Three serious pests especially in the ABQ-metro area are ash twig beetle, red-headed ash borer and ash-lilac borer. The twig beetles cause extensive twig die back but they ultimately reproduce in the live bark of the tree, girdling it. Red-headed ash borers kill the young trees, often within a year or two of planting. Ash-lilac borer is the clear-winged moth with a larva that bores deeply into host wood, matures near the bark surface and emerges to fly at night, unseen.

Moving infested ash firewood to new locations can spread pests like this faster than their own natural rate of dispersal (flight).

Certainly, if you suspect something going on with your ash trees, take specimens, photos, etc. to your Bernalillo Co. Extension office or call that office (243-1386) to make an appointment for a home visit.

I hope this helps.