Tree-threatening Insect Trapped in Boston

Emerald Ash Borer Photo credit:
Emerald Ash Borer
Photo credit:

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) recently announced that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was detected in a trap at the Arnold Arboretum. The EAB is an invasive insect that has wiped out tens of millions of ash trees in the Midwest. The Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall are home to a total of 58 ash trees.

The Friends is monitoring this news and has reached out to officials to offer support.

DCR and DAR officials are working in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the U.S. Forest Service to take a number of swift proactive steps aimed at slowing the spread of the invasive beetle, including:

  • Defining a quarantine area that would only allow the movement of certain wood products under certain conditions;
  • Conducting a delimiting survey to help identify the extent of the infestation;
  • Working with stakeholders to ensure they know how to properly treat or dispose of infested trees and materials; and
  • Maintaining a ban that has been in place against bringing any firewood into state parks and forests.

“The presence of Emerald Ash Borer in our state represents a serious threat to our ash trees,” said DCR Commissioner Jack Murray. “We are taking swift action to address the infestation, educate the public, and work to mitigate any impact an infestation could bring.”

If you are interested in receiving updates on activities related to the EAB on the Boston Common, in the Public Garden, and on Commonwealth Avenue Mall, please email

In August of 2012, EAB was detected in Berkshire County in the Town of Dalton.  In November of 2013, EAB was confirmed in Essex County in the Town of North Andover. DCR instituted county-wide quarantines of Essex and Berkshire counties shortly after the EAB was discovered. To date, 23 states across the country have confirmed detections of EAB.

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