The emerald ash borer was first detected in 2002. The insect originates from Asia and has few natural enemies in North America.
On average, an infested woodlot will have lost 99% of its ash trees. The high mortality increases the likelihood of invasion of forests by invasive plants.
Canadian Forest Service (CFS) scientists estimate that costs for treatment, removal and replacement of trees affected by emerald ash borer in Canadian municipalities may reach $2 billion over a 30-year period. Locally ash has significant commercial and cultural value.
The largest North American manufacturer of lifting tool handles manufactures in N.B. and relies heavily on the superior quality of white ash.
Several First Nation communities also have significant reliance on the species for traditional basket making work.