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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

Colonization of Ash Stumps

Research Issue

[photo:] Ash sprouts around a stumpManagers are removing large numbers of ash trees in an effort to control and contain eab populations.  Given that ash stumps readily sprout after cutting, there is concern that eab may be able to reproduce in these living stumps.  It is not known if eab adults will lay eggs on ash stumps, and if the resultant larvae are able to complete development.  Furthermore, it is not known if sprouting varies much with season of cutting, stump height, or species of ash.  In addition, it wasn’t known how effective the herbicide Garlon® 3A was in preventing stump sprouting and how this affected eab colonization.  We conducted a study to evaluate if various cultural and chemical treatments would reduce ash stump sprouting and eab colonization.

 Our Research

In one study, we cut several live green ash trees that occurred within an eab-infested area in Michigan at different times of the year.  These trees were believed to be uninfested or only lightly infested with eab at the time of cutting, and therefore no eab were thought to be present in the trunks of these trees near groundline.  The resultant stumps were cut at heights of 1, 5, or 9 inches above groundline.  We recorded sprouting and eab colonization on all stumps over the next year.

In a second study, we treated stumps of freshly cut green ash trees with the herbicide Garlon® 3A and then monitored subsequent sprouting and eab colonization.

In a third study, we cut several black, green, and white ash trees, leaving stumps of equal height, and then recorded subsequent sprouting and eab colonization.

Expected Outcomes

Our results will be useful to regulatory personnel and resource managers when setting guidelines for tree removal and stump treatment in eab infested areas and in areas preparing for eab arrival.

Research Results

We found that the stumps of trees cut in summer tended to sprout less the year following cutting compared to stumps of trees cut in the spring or fall.  Stump height did not affect the frequency of sprouting.  We recorded no sprouting on Garlon® 3A-treated stumps, while sprouting was common on the untreated control stumps.  We also found that the frequency of stump sprouting was similar among black, green, and white ash trees when cutting occurred in summer.  Additional details and results can be found in Petrice and Haack (2011).

Petrice, Toby R.; Haack, Robert A. 2011. Effects of cutting time, stump height, and herbicide application on ash (Fraxinus spp.) stump sprouting and colonization by emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. 28(2): 79-83.

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

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

Last Modified: 12/07/2017

About this Research Area
About Emerald Ash Borer
Selected Studies