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Emerald Ash Borer Checklist

Identify Your Tree

Ash LeavesAsh trees are easiest to identify when leaves are on the trees; however, it can be identified by looking at the bark in the wintertime.

Twigs - stout, gray to green-brown with small, lateral round buds opposite each other; terminal bud is large, brown, with leathery scales flanked by two small lateral buds.

Leaves - oppositely arranged on twig, pinnately compound (leaf is made up of several leaflets attached to a leaf stem), and has 5 to 9 dark green leaflets (usually 7 or 9).

Leaflets - either no stalks or very short stalks attached to the leaf stem; smooth or sometimes finely serrated on the upper half.

Autumn color - green ash - yellow and orange; white ash - red and purple.

Bark - young bark is usually flaky; forms tall, interlacing ridges and deep furrows with age.


Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive, ash tree-killing insect easily moved through firewood, ash logs, ash nursery stock, and parts of an ash tree. For that reason all Tennesseans should monitor their ash trees for signs of the beetle.

Once you have properly identified the trees, check ash trees for the following symptoms:

Distinct, D-shaped exit holes in the bark EAB d-holes
Serpentine-shaped tunnels under the bark on the surface of the wood EAB serpentine damage
Young sprout growth at the base of the tree EAB young sprout growth
Unusual activity by woodpeckers EAB woodpecker collateral damage
Thinning canopy of the tree EAB branch dieback
Vertical splits in the bark EAB bark splits

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