Emerald Ash Borer trap

Emerald Ash Borer Outreach Q&A

New Emerald Ash Borer Information

By Pat Curran, Horticulture Educator, Tompkins County Cooperative Extension
(originally published May 2011)

Question: I have noticed that some Ithaca street trees have purple ribbons and a message about the Emerald Ash Borer. What's going on?

Your question is very timely, as May 22-28 is NYS Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week. The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and volunteers have posted signs and tied ribbons around some ash trees, in an effort to increase public awareness of this threat to all species of ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small, bright green beetle, an invasive exotic insect that has already killed millions of ash trees in the US. New York has 900 million ash trees, all vulnerable to the beetle. The EAB is already present in western NY and two counties in the Hudson Valley. In an effort to slow down the spread of the EAB, restrictions on moving firewood and EAB quarantines have been imposed. For details, please see this website:


The purpose of the signage on the trees is to demonstrate what ash trees look like, and to alert the public to the likelihood that the EAB will eventually spread to Tompkins County. Homeowners with ash trees on their property need to think about what this means for them. Slowing down the spread of the insect gives us all more time to make plans, to consider tree removal, and to plan on replacement trees.

For more information on garden pests, including the Emerald Ash Borer, consult the Cornell gardening website or call the horticultural hotline at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County at 272-2292.

Last updated January 29, 2021