Another Look at Systemic Neonicotinoid Applications for Emerald Ash Borer Suppression

David G. Olson, Lee H. Townsend, Eric Roemmele, Lynne K. Rieske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive phloem feeder from East Asia that has killed millions of ash trees in North America. Currently, effective options for individual tree protection are limited to systemic insecticides, in particular neonicotinoids, which have come under increased scrutiny for their nontarget effects. In this study, green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica) trees were treated with two neonicotinoid insecticides, imidacloprid and dinotefuran, at full and half label rates based on trunk diameter to evaluate residues and efficacy. Analyzing the leaf, stem, and root tissues, there was no difference in insecticide residues between application rates within each tissue type. However, there were significantly higher residues of imidacloprid in root tissue compared to other plant tissues, and dinotefuran applied at the full label rate resulted in lower residues in stem phloem tissue. Additionally, insecticide-treated stems were artificially infested with EAB eggs to measure larval success (survival and growth). EAB larvae consumed less phloem in treated trees compared to untreated controls. These findings suggest that, in small-diameter ash, lower than label-recommended doses may be a viable component of an integrated management plan for EAB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalArboriculture and Urban Forestry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
©2020 International Society of Arboriculture.


  • Agrilus planipennis
  • Dinotefuran
  • Fraxinus
  • Imidacloprid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology


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