Timeline of EAB progress in Lincoln


2002: EAB is identified in southeast Michigan and Windsor, Ontario.  Commonly believed to have arrived in Detroit on shipping pallets from its native China.  Some believe initial infestation occurred in ash trees in the area a decade or more prior to detection.

2003: The newly identified pest is found in Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia in 2003.

2007: Experimental effort to biocontrol EAB with hymenopteran parasitoid species of EAB from China is undertaken in southern Michigan.  A relative failure in this endeavor amidst the rapid spread of eab across the upper midwest informs scientists of the insect’s unusually aggressive nature.

June, 2016: First confirmation of EAB in Nebraska at Pulaski Park in Omaha, and on June 17th on private property in Greenwood, NE—about 17 miles from the center of Lincoln

December, 2018: EAB infestations are known in 35 states and five Canadian provinces.  EAB is now active or closing in on all zones where ash trees grow in the USA.

August, 2018:  Presence of EAB is confirmed in Lincoln.  Nebraska Department of Agriculture announces they have found EAB in a trap located inside Lincoln and an arborist has discovered an ash tree with signs of EAB infestation in Fremont, NE.

April, 2019:  EAB is confirmed in live tissues in central Lincoln.  EAB infected tree was removed from the 38th and F Street area in mid-April of 2019.  According to a Journal Star article, “State entomologist Julie Van Meter suggested the bugs have been here, undetected, for more than a year.”  Read article here.

May, 2019:  City of Lincoln Forestry starts a program for the “adoption” of public ash trees for insecticide treatment by homeowners.  Click here for information on adopting a tree on city property.

Spring, 2022: EAB damage is now observable in random trees in Lincoln.  Central and north neighborhoods seem to be the hardest hit areas.  The correct time to start treating ash trees is now known to be several years in the past.  Trees that have their first applications of insecticide in 2022 have less anticipated chance of survival than those that started treatment in the past.

Spring, 2023: Pockets of severe EAB damage are evident throughout Lincoln.  1 in 150 (a very generalized guesstimate) ash trees have 1/8 to 1/2 their leaves missing.  Percentage of “canopy thinning” present is a popular diagnostic method for tracking this loss of leaves.  Trees with 25% or less “thinning” are still excellent candidates for survival if injected immediately.  Compared to something like a 98% success rate for trees that commenced treatment while still 100% healthy, a tree with 25% canopy thinning has, perhaps, something like a 75% chance of survival with treatment.  Some will appreciate a further numbers-oriented prediction of what this means: In a matter of 2 years, Lincoln’s ash trees could be said to have become 12.5 times less treatable.  We may only be 2-3 years away from the average, untreated ash tree being treatable at a dismal 50% success rate.  If correct this would mean that those who want to keep their ash trees can no longer wait to see how things “play out” before treating.

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