Friday, June 05, 2009

Emerald Ash Borer Found In DeKalb County

Illinois Department of Agriculture Press Release



DeKalb County now known to harbor the pest

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.A destructive, non-native pest that feasts on ash trees has been confirmed in DeKalb County. The emerald ash borer (EAB) was discovered on a farm south of Illinois Route 64 on First Street in Mayfield Township just between the cities of Sycamore and DeKalb, the Illinois Department of Agriculture announced today.

The department’s educational outreach led to the discovery of the infested ash trees. The informed homeowner noticed distressed ash trees on his property and reported them to IDOA staff. Larvae then were collected from the trees and submitted to the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which confirmed the specimens as EAB.

“While this find isn’t in a specific city, we have established contact with the neighboring cities of Sycamore and DeKalb and are working with them closely as we monitor the extent of this infestation,” EAB Manager Paul Deizman said.

The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. While the beetle does not pose any direct risk to public health, it does threaten the tree population. Since the emerald ash borer was first confirmed in the Midwest in the summer of 2002, tens of millions of ash trees have died as a result of EAB. States currently affected by EAB are Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and several provinces in Canada.

While it isn’t known exactly how EAB arrived in Illinois, it is widely believed to be artificially spread by moving infested firewood. A quarantine to prevent such an occurrence in Illinois has been established in the 21 northeastern-most counties of the state. Those counties include: the entire counties of Boone, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Livingston, McHenry, McLean, Putnam, Will, Winnebago, and Woodford.

The quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items from the regulated areas:

· The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.

· Ash trees of any size.

· Ash limbs and branches.

· Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.

· Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.

· Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.

· Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.

· Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.

Anyone convicted of moving prohibited items from the quarantine area without prior certification by an Illinois Department of Agriculture nursery inspector may be fined up to $500.

The emerald ash borer is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Citizens should watch for metallic-green beetles about half the diameter of a penny on or near ash trees that are showing signs of disease or stress. Other signs of infestation in ash trees include D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and shoots growing from its base.

Anyone who suspects a tree has been infested is urged to contact their county Extension office or their village forester for a consultation.


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