We review research on ecological impacts of emerald ash borer (EAB)-induced ash mortality in the Upper Huron River watershed in southeast Michigan near the epicenter of the invasion of North America, where forests have been impacted longer than any others in North America. By 2009, mortality of green, white, and black ash exceeded 99%, and ash seed production and regeneration had ceased. This left an orphaned cohort of saplings too small to be infested, the fate of which may depend on the ability of natural enemies to regulate EAB populations at low densities. There was no relationship between patterns of ash mortality and ash density, ash importance, or community composition. Most trees died over a five-year period, resulting in relatively simultaneous, widespread gap formation. Disturbance resulting from gap formation and accumulation of coarse woody debris caused by ash mortality had cascading impacts on forest communities, including successional trajectories, growth of non-native invasive plants, soil dwelling and herbivorous arthropod communities, and bird foraging behavior, abundance, and community composition. These and other impacts on forest ecosystems are likely to be experienced elsewhere as EAB continues to spread.