Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Like many insects, the emerald ash borer has four life stages: adult, egg, larva and pupa. Adult beetles lay eggs on the bark of ash trees. Larvae emerging from the eggs bore into the bark and feed on the tree’s trunk that lies just below. This cuts off the flow of water and nutrients and eventually kills the tree. The larvae emerge as metallic green beetles between April and June.

  • Ash trees can be recognized by their branches that grow directly across from one another, by the presence of five to nine leaflets, which are arranged opposite of one another on the branches and its diamond patterned bark.

    Photo of an ash tree

  • The Emerald Ash Borer Program is in addition to Duke Energy’s routine Vegetation Management Program in the Midwest, which involves cutting, removing and/or preventing vegetative growth from interfering with electric lines to provide safe and reliable operation of the power system for our customers. 

    Duke Energy representatives will visit specific neighborhoods to talk with affected landowners and/or residents who may have one or more ash trees on their property that could potentially disrupt the power system. Our employees and contractors will carry identification and will attempt an in-person visit to schedule a time to cut the ash and/or hazard tree(s) that could disrupt the power system.



  • Once we identify an ash tree, we then assess its health and risk of disrupting the power system. After careful review, a tree is either identified for action or left untouched on the property.

  • We recommend that infested trees along power lines be cut down. Once the emerald ash borer infests a tree, it’s only a matter of time before the tree begins to show signs of decline. As a part of this program, we’re willing to cut down ash trees at our own expense if the trees could potentially impact the Duke Energy system. However, a customer may desire to treat the trees on his/her property and not have Duke Energy cut them down. This is acceptable in areas where the trees do not have a potential impact to Duke Energy’s system.

    Trees outside of Duke Energy’s rights of way are the sole responsibility of the property owner, and as such, customers will be responsible for the cost of treating any infested trees in addition to the cost and expense for the future cutting down of such trees if the customer refuses to take advantage of this program. If you desire to treat your trees, we recommend that you contact your local extension service, certified arborist or professional nursery for recommendations.

  • In maintained or landscaped areas, tree debris is chipped to the extent possible, the tree branches are cut into manageable sizes and stacked in place. In unmaintained areas, the trees are moved to the edge of the right of way and debris is left to naturally biodegrade.

@ Sign up for email