Emerald Ash Borer in Fairfax County


adult emerald esh borer

Adult emerald ash borer
Photo by: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University

emerald ash borer larvae

Emerald ash borer larvae
Photo by: Brian Sullivan,

emerald esh borer larva

Emerald ash borer larva
Photo by: David Cappaert,
Michigan State University


Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a beetle that was accidentally introduced into North America from Asia. EAB does not generally spread great distances on its own. It is typically spread as various ash materials (firewood, wood chips, nursery stock, etc.) are transported from infested to noninfested areas. The larva destroys ash trees by feeding on the inner bark. This disrupts the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients which in turn kills the tree in a matter of years.

EAB infests all species of ash and is almost always fatal without treatment. Fairfax County Urban Forest Management Division is discouraging the planting of ash trees for landscaping purposes. Builders will not receive tree canopy credits for planting ash on development sites within the county and residents are encouraged to plant a variety of other native species instead of ash.

Fairfax County works cooperatively with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to implement a large-scale EAB survey. Staff periodically checks the traps throughout the summer to identify any additional areas of infestation.

Quarantine Information

There is a federal contiguous EAB quarantine throughout parts of the Eastern and Midwestern United States.

The following items may not be moved out of the quarantined areas without a compliance agreement:  

  • all hardwood firewood
  • ash nursery stock
  • ash green lumber
  • any other ash material, living, dead, cut or fallen, including logs, stumps, branches, roots, as well as composted and uncomposted chips from any species of ash

Please visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Animal, Plant, Health Inspection Service or call the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 804-786-3515, TTY 711 for more information about compliance agreements.   

Some interstate movement of firewood is allowed the Forest Pest Branch does not recommend it. There are too many pests that hitch hike rides on firewood.

Remember: Do your part to prevent the spread of this destructive pest. Don't move firewood! Buy it where you burn it. Buy your firewood once you reach your destination.

The images below illustrate the most common signs and symptoms of an EAB infestation.

For more information, view the national EAB website or contact the Forest Pest Branch at 703-324-5304, TTY 711, or via email.

Bark splitting

Vertical bark splitting caused by emerald ash borer
Photo By: Michigan Department of Agriculture

Canopy dieback

Canopy dieback caused by emerald ash borer infestation
Photo By: Steven Katovich

Epicormic shoots

Epicormic shoots caused by emerald ash borer infestation
Photo By: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Exit holes

"D" shaped exit holes
Photo By: Joseph O'Brien

Larval galleries

Larval galleries
Photo By: David Cappaert, Michigan State University



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