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April 8, 2008

Treatment approved to fight emerald ash borer in Indiana

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Indiana soon will have a new weapon in the war on emerald ash borers.

The Indiana State Chemist on March 28 approved the use of a new anti-emerald ash borer (EAB) treatment called Tree- äge™, an insecticide developed by Swiss agrochemical company Syngenta and Massachusetts firm Arborjet.

Tree- äge™ has an active ingredient called emamectin benzoate and is injected directly into the ash tree's vascular system, which the part of the tree EAB larvae feed on. Because of this direct-injection, the insecticide will not harm anything that contacts the tree, such as butterflies, birds and squirrels.

Michigan officials also approved the chemical after yearlong preliminary studies.

"This material is very promising based on results in Michigan, and we are in the process of doing tests of our own in field sites in Indiana," said Purdue University entomologist Cliff Sadof. "Preliminary evidence suggests that a single treatment could provide two years of control."

Trees best suited for Tree- äge™ application are those in close proximity to areas with emerald ash borers, and optimal application time is mid-May through mid-June.

"The product is best used to protect healthy trees before they become infested with EAB," said Jodie Ellis, Purdue entomologist and emerald ash borer specialist. "The control provided by this insecticide approaches 100 percent for the larvae, which feed underneath the tree's bark, damaging the tree's vascular system, and for the adult beetles that feed on ash leaves."

However, this insecticide is only available for use by trained professionals.

"Property owners in or near areas with EAB infestations who wish to protect ash trees in their landscapes should contact a tree care company with a certified arborist to talk about pricing and whether or not this particular treatment suits their situation," Ellis said. "Because of the cost, Tree- äge™ should be used only on ash trees that are valuable in landscapes or on trees that owners are willing to spend money to protect.

"And consumers should make sure they're educating themselves and understanding what a tree care professional plans to do. It's OK to ask questions and to call around before choosing what best fits your needs."

For a list of certified arborists, visit the Indiana Arborist Association Web site at

While the research thus far is promising, Sadof cautions that results are preliminary and this treatment will not provide lifelong emerald ash borer immunity.

Further information about Tree- äge™ and other treatments for emerald ash borer are available at the Purdue EAB homepage at  or by contacting Ellis at (765) 494-0822,

Writer: Jennifer Cummins, (765) 494-6682,

Sources: Jodie Ellis, (765) 494-0822,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes,
Agriculture News Page

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