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How the Emerald Ash Borer Kills

Making It Grow! Minute logo

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The Asian Emerald Ash Beetle causes little damage to Asian species of ash trees in its native range as both evolved together over millions of years.   That natural process didn’t extend to ash species growing in Europe and North America, and the accidental introduction of that insect to those continents is causing destruction on a scale like that of the Dutch Elm Disease in our history.  The female beetle lays eggs in bark crevices, the larvae tunnel within the phloem layer in irregular patterns, effectively girdling the tree. Death occurs within three years. Cities with large urban elm populations are removing some trees while protecting others with systemic insecticide injections at a cost of about $100 per tree, which gives three years protection, both expensive propositions but considered the best options while city planners begin replacement programs with non-susceptible species. 

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.