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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Host Range

Research Issue

[photo:] Emerald ash borer (eab) is native to China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, eastern Russia, and Taiwan. In China, three species of ash (Fraxinus) are the only tree species reported as host trees of eab, while in Korea, eab also attacks a species of elm (Ulmus davidiana var. japonica), and in Japan it is reported to infest ash, elm, walnut (Juglans mandshurica) and wingnut (Pterocarya rhoifolia). To date, in North America, eab has been found to successfully reproduce only in species of ash.

Our Research

To address the concern that eab may attack other tree species in North America, we tested if adults would foliage feed (adults must foliage feed before mating and laying eggs) on several non-ash tree and shrub species (American elm, hackberry, shagbark hickory, black walnut, lilac, forsythia, privet, and fringetree) that are native to North America and are related to the species eab attacks in Asia.  In this study, we collected foliage, offering it to eab adults in lab choice tests, and then calculated how much foliage they consumed of each species during a standard amount of time.  Feeding amounts on non-ash species were compared with those on several North American ash species (black, blue, green, and white ash).

Expected Outcomes

Results from this study will allow us to learn if other tree species besides ash may be threatened by eab in North America.

Research Results

Preliminary results were reported in Mastro and Reardon (2004 and 2005).  In summary our feeding trials found that eab most often preferred ash foliage over the non-ash species we tested, however, some feeding did occur on some non-ash species with measurable amounts occurring on fringetree, lilac, and privet.  We plan to publish the final results of this study in a refereed journal.

Mastro, V., and R. Reardon (Comps.).  2004.  Emerald Ash Borer Research and Technology Development Meeting, Port Huron, MI, 30 Sept.-1 Oct. 2003.  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service publication FHTET-2004-02, Washington, DC.

Mastro, V., and R. Reardon (Comps.).  2005. Emerald Ash Borer Research and Technology Development Meeting, Romulus, MI, 5-6 Oct. 2004  U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service publication FHTET-2004-15, Washington, DC.

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Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Robert Haack, US Forest Service - Northern Research Station Research Entomologist
  • Toby Petrice, US Forest Service - Northern Research Station Entomologist

Last Modified: 03/14/2016