PORTLAND — Forestry officials in Oregon said Monday that an invasive beetle known for decimating ash trees throughout North America and Europe has been discovered west of Portland.
The Oregon Department of Forestry said the emerald ash borer is considered the most destructive forest pest in North America and had been detected in 34 other states before it was discovered in Forest Grove, Oregon, on June 30.
Officials say it’s the first discovery of the insect on the West Coast.
The insects have killed up to 99% of the ash trees in some North American locations.
“Since it was first found in the Detroit, Michigan area back in 2002, EAB has become the most destructive and costliest forest pest ever to invade North America,” said Wyatt Williams, the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Invasive Species Specialist. “This little insect (it’s only half an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide) has spread to 35 states and five Canadian provinces, killing up to 99 percent of their ash trees in some locations. At least five ash species native to the central U.S. have become critically endangered as EAB spreads across the country killing hundreds of millions of urban and wild ash trees.”
For more information about impacts of EAB to Oregon’s urban forests and the risks to native ash trees please visit ODF’s Forest Health page.