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Learn More About Emerald Ash Borer Infestations And How To Treat Them

How did the Emerald Ash Borer arrive in Sioux Falls?

The Emerald Ash Borer was first found in the United States in 2002 near Detroit. Since then it has spread to neighboring states and even Canada. The small, metallic green beetle was first found in northern Sioux Falls in May 2018. Now that it is here the Emerald Ash Borer can’t be eradicated. 

Any ash tree within 15 miles of Cliff and Benson needs to be treated, and possibly other places around town as well, or it will result in the death of the tree. The Emerald Ash Borer is expected to have a significant effect on the 87,000 ash trees in the Sioux Falls area.

How do I know if I have an ash tree?

Ash Tree

Ash trees are one of the most common native trees in the Midwest. They can be easily identified by their branches, leaves, and bark.

Ash Tree Opposite Branching

Ash trees can be identified by their "opposite branching," meaning leaves and twigs appear on a shoot, another present on the opposite side.


Ash Tree Leaf With Emerald Ash Borer

Ash trees will commonly have anywhere between 5 to 9 leaflets.

Ash Tree Diamond Bark Pattern

Ash trees will also have a diamond-shaped bark pattern.

How do Emerald Ash Borers affect ash trees?

emerald ash borer infestation

The small, metallic green beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. After the eggs hatch, the larvae bore into the bark and feed on the transportation tissues of the tree. They destroy the vascular system, causing a disruption in the movement of nutrients and water within the tree, resulting in death.

Trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer have no natural defenses to the insect and die within a few years of the initial attack. Trees can die even quicker when insect population is established and high.

Where is the insect in South Dakota?

The Emerald Ash Borer was found in South Dakota in May 2018. The only known infestation at this time is located within the northern part of Sioux Falls near Cliff and Benson.

Will we lose all of our ash trees in Sioux Falls to the Emerald Ash Borer?

Yes, unless the ash tree is treated every two years it will eventually be killed. Typically, a community with Emerald Ash Borer loses all its untreated ash trees within a 10-year period following detection. Tree owners who live in Sioux Falls should consider treat their tree if they want to protect it.

When can you treat the ash tree? 

It is recommended that you begin treatment when Emerald Ash Borer is detected within 15 miles of your area. For the best outcome, treatment should begin when trees still appear healthy. This preventive treatment can protect and save your ash tree from death.

Ash trees are best treated in the spring and summer. Spring treatment will prevent the adult beetles from feeding and laying eggs in the tree, while summer treatment will kill the larval stage of Emerald Ash Borer that feeds under the bark.

Treatments for Emerald Ash Borer provide protection for two years. And in general, applications should not be made more than once a year.

What are the treatments for Emerald Ash Borer?

The most effective treatments for trees greater than 6 inches in diameter, are treatments applied by commercial applicators like Ash Tree Treatment. They have the equipment and chemicals to properly treat your tree with trunk injections once every two years. Trunk injections have been shown to be the most effective protection against Emerald Ash Borer.

When it is too late to treat the ash tree?

Preventative treatment is crucial to saving ash trees. There is a significant delay from vascular tissue disruption to external symptoms in the canopy. By the time an ash tree shows obvious signs of damage, it is usually too late to treat it. Delaying Emerald Ash Borer treatment could result in the loss of the tree.

How do I identify an Emerald Ash Borer infestation?

Emerald Ash Borer exit holes

There are several signs of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation. They include:

  • D-shaped holes in the bark where adult beetles have exited.
  • Thinning and discoloration in the upper canopy of the tree.
  • Long, slender shoots clustered around the trunk and lower limbs.
  • Bark that is shredded off by woodpeckers searching for larvae.
  • Dime-sized pits made by the woodpecker on the bark.
  • Vertical cracks in the trunk, which will show a network of larvae tunnels, if opened.

Woodpecker activity and bark splits are the two best ways to determine if a tree is infected by the Emerald Ash Borer.

What is the cost of treatment vs. cost of removal?

Our ash tree treatments start at $12 per inch of the tree's circumference and provide two years of protection. It will cost on average anywhere between $750-$5,000 (depending on size) to remove a single tree. You can treat your trees for decades for the cost to remove and replace them.

Do you provide a discount for treating multiple ash trees?

Yes, we provide homeowners, businesses, and municipalities a discount for treating multiple ash trees. Use our pricing calculator to get an estimate on less than 6 trees.  For multiple tree discounts, please call us at 605-940-5253 to schedule a consultation.

How effective is treatment?

Our treatment method has been 100% effective on more than 200,000 trees. We have never lost a single tree from Emerald Ash Borer.

What else should I be doing if I have an ash tree and live in Sioux Falls?

The insect is attracted to fresh pruning wounds, so don't prune your ash trees between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Ash trees should not be removed during this time either, as adult beetles can emerge from logs and brush as they are being transported.

From Labor Day to Memorial Day the insect is inside the tree, so ash trees can be pruned. Ash wood and brush can be moved during this time, but it still must remain within the quarantine area.

There is currently a quarantine for Minnehaha, northern Lincoln (north of Hwy 18) and northeastern Turner (north of Hwy 18 and east of Hwy 19) Counties. No ash trees nor any ash brush, logs, or raw wood products such as ash firewood should be moved outside of this area. Since firewood is difficult to identify to species, the restriction on firewood pertains to all hardwoods, not just ash.

What if I live outside of Sioux Falls but within the quarantine area?

If you are within the quarantine area, the same restrictions for the movement of ash and firewood apply. Tree owners should consider treating their ash trees within the next few years as the insect will spread out beyond Sioux Falls.

What if I live outside of the quarantine area?

There is no need to treat your trees nor are there any restrictions on pruning or movement of ash wood. However, ash tree owners may want to inspect their tree for signs of an infestation.

Ash Tree Treatment of Sioux Falls, Brandon and surrounding area has the knowledge and skills to save your ash tree from an insect infestation.

40 Years

of arboriculture experience


trees saved utilizing our technique


effective treatment