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Illinois Tree Care Services
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Urbana, Illinois

November 10, 2011 - The Illinois Department of Agriculture has expanded the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine to all of 37 counties and part of two other Illinois counties.

Identified in 2002 as the reason Ash trees were rapidly dying in southeast Michigan, the first discovery of Emerald Ash Borer was made in Kane County in 2006. It is suspected Emerald Ash Borer was brought to Illinois on infested firewood and the quarantine is in place to slow the artificial spread of the insect on nursery stock or Ash wood.

Emerald Ash Borer - adultThe small, metallic-green Emerald Ash Beetle is native to Asia and is believed to have been transported to the United States on packing material. The adult Emerald Ash Borer feeds on Ash leaves, without causing significant harm to the tree. The larvae, however, cuts off the flow of water to the upper branches of an Ash tree by feeding on the cambium tissue. Untreated Ash trees are usually killed two to three years after becoming infested.

If you suspect your Ash tree has been infested with Emerald Ash Borer contact your county Extension office, your village forester, or the Illinois Department of Agriculture. If you want to protect your Ash tree from Emerald Ash Borer contact a local arborist or tree service for Emerald Ash Borer treatment options.

The Emerald Ash Borer quarantine prohibits the movement of the following items from quarantined counties:

  • The Emerald Ash Borer insect in any living stage of development.
  • Any size Ash trees.
  • Ash tree limbs or branches.
  • Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
  • Bark from Ash trees.
  • Wood chips from Ash trees larger than one inch.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one inch of sapwood, or both attached.
  • Any item made from or containing the wood of the Ash tree that is capable of spreading the Emerald Ash Borer.
  • Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the Emerald Ash Borer.

It’s difficult to detect Emerald Ash Borer on a newly infested tree because the larvae feed unseen under the bark. Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer infestation include:

  • Bark flakes under an Ash tree from woodpeckers feeding on the larvae.
  • D-shaped exit holes on Ash tree branches, the trunk of an Ash tree, or on exposed Ash tree roots.
  • Bark splits running lengthwise on Ash tree branches.
  • New shoots sprouting from the lower trunk of an Ash tree.

Illinois counties currently under the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine include Boone, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, McHenry, McLean, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Shelby, Stark, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford. Only portions of Bureau and Marshall Counties were added to the quarantine.


Governor Pat Quinn acknowledged that Thousand Cankers Disease is a viable threat to the Black Walnut trees in Illinois. Thousand Cankers Disease first came to the attention of arborists in the Western United States where it has killed thousands of Black Walnut trees. The tree disease has no known cure and has now spread to the eastern states of Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Thousands Cankers Disease is spread by the tiny Walnut Twig Beetle. The disease causes cankers to develop in the cambium system of the tree, which interrupts the normal movement of water and nutrients throughout the tree. Once infected the tree gradually declines from the top down and may be entirely dead within three years.

State officials are attempting to keep Thousand Cankers Disease from entering Illinois. Shipments of tree materials are not allowed in Illinois from areas where Thousand Cankers Disease is known to be present. Even materials from areas that aren't infested must provide proof of where the trees were harvested.

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