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Tuesday, Feb. 3rd 2015

EAB found in White Fringe Trees in Ohio with high pest populations

White fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus) has been found attacked by emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) by Don Cipollini, a professor at Wright State University in Ohio


  • A larval specimen and a partial adult specimen extracted from this tree have been positively identified as EAB.
  • To date Dr. Cipollini has found 4 trees at 4 sites with suspected EAB. These specimens have all been collected in areas where the abundance of dead ash trees suggest that local populations of EAB were high.
  • Widespread attack of white fringe trees have not been reported.
  • These findings indicate the need for additional studies to determine the full extent to which EAB is able to complete its lifecycle and utilize white fringe tree as a host.
  • EAB has not been found in the Chinese fringe tree C. retusus.

What is a fringe tree and why is it important?

  • The white fringe tree is a native species that is found in the Southeastern US from New Jersey to Louisiana. The northern part of the range glances through Southern OH and KY.
  • C. virginicus (white fringe tree), and its congener C. retusus (Chinese fringe tree) are used in many landscapes.
  • The capacity of EAB to move to the fringe tree could indicate a capacity to move to other plant members of the Olive family, including lilac, and privet. Previous research conducted in the 2000’s that tested these species found EAB to be unable to complete its lifecycle on these hosts. To date, despite the loss of over 50 million ash trees in areas where lilac, privet and fringe trees are grown, no other observations of potential host shifting have been reported.

What needs to be done?

  • Plantings of fringe trees should be inspected for dying branches and epicormic shoots. Trunks of these trees should be inspected for D shaped exit holes.


  • Nurseries and plantings in areas near or where EAB populations are high may be treated with a trunk insecticide like permethrin to kill beetles attempting to lay eggs on the trunk. Otherwise a soil application of dinotefuran can be made AFTER trees have finished flowering. Fringe trees finish flowering by June 1 in most of Indiana.



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University of Missouri Extension Master Gardener Program