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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
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You are here: NRS Home / Research Programs / Forest Disturbance Processes / Invasive Species / Emerald Ash Borer /Control and Management / Identification, Selection and Testing of "Lingering Ash" in Emerald Ash Borer Long Term Monitoring Plots in Michigan and Ohio
Emerald Ash Borer

Identification, Selection and Testing of "Lingering Ash" in Emerald Ash Borer Long Term Monitoring Plots in Michigan and Ohio

Research Issue

[photo] A “lingering ash” found in oak openings at Toledo Area Metropark. (Photo by Kathleen Knight, USFS).Initial reports after the outbreak of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis, EAB) indicated that there was no resistance to this insect in the Detroit area, where ashes were popular street trees.  Urban trees are usually only a few horticultural selections of the species and are thus a limited representation of the species’ genetics.

As the beetle spread away from urban areas into more genetically diverse native stands and woodlots, plots were established to monitor the impact of EAB in these areas.  During this yearly inventory, we have identified a small number of trees that have persisted.  Lingering Ash may be truly resistant (able to prevent an EAB infestation and thrive at a more natural, non-epidemic level of EAB) or only tolerant (able to survive low level infestation, but not truly resistant).  Even if these trees ultimately succumb to EAB, the traits that helped them survive longer may be helpful in breeding ash trees that could resist EAB.

 Our Research

Forest Service researchers and their Ohio State University collaborators are working quickly to preserve and study these “lingering ash” through grafting.  Grafting allows both preservation and replication for study.   Bioassays are being utilized to determine if lingering ash are resistant to EAB and what mechanisms may be operating that allow them to survive.

Expected Outcomes

We are working to propagate lingering ash for testing; establish field test; utilize existing bioassays; develop additional bioassays; investigate molecular and biochemical genetics and mechanisms of resistance; and initiate a breeding program

Research Results

Mason, Mary E.; Herms, Daniel A.; Carey, David W.; Knight, Kathleen S.; Faridi, Nurul I.; Koch, Jennifer L. 2011. Update on exotic ash collection for hybrid breeding and survey for EAB-resistance in native North American ash species. In: McManus, Katherine A; Gottschalk, Kurt W., eds. 2010. Proceedings. 21st U.S. Department of Agriculture interagency research forum on invasive species 2010; 2010 January 12-15; Annapolis, MD. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-75. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 104.

Koch, Jennifer L.; Mason, Mary E.; Carey, David W.; Knight, Kathleen S.; Poland, Therese; Herms, Daniel A. 2010. Survey for tolerance to emerald ash borer within North American ash species.  In: Michler, Charles H.; Ginzel, Matthew D., eds. 2010. Proceedings of symposium on ash in North America; 2010 March 9-11; West Lafayette, IN. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-72. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 60.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Jennifer Koch, Research Biologist, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station

Research Partners

  • Kathleen Knight, Research Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • Therese Poland, Research Entomologist, U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • Dan Herms, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

Last Modified: 11/19/2014

About this Research Area
About Emerald Ash Borer
Survivor Ash Reporting Tool

Do you know of an ash tree in southeast Michigan or Northwest Ohio that meets the following criteria?

  • Natural trees only (planted cultivars have already been tested)
  • Trunk diameter larger than 10 inches (circumference of 31.4 inches) at 54 inches about the ground (DBH)
  • Healthy canopy with lots of leaves and no dead upper branches
  • Not treated with insecticides

Help us locate a "survivor" ash tree

Selected Studies