Thursday, May 10, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Decatur, IL

From the Decatur Tribune

Photographer: Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University

The Emerald Ash Borer, a small invasive insect responsible for the death of millions of Ash trees across the United States and Canada, has been confirmed and documented to be in the Decatur community.

The City received confirmation of the insect by the Illinois Department of Agriculture after local forestry staff identified what it thought to be the insect in a tree on the east end of the city. The insect and a tree sample was immediately sent to IDA for testing where confirmation was made.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the extent and severity of any EAB infestation are difficult to quantify, however, the presence of EAB means that the population of Ash trees in the area could be at risk. Newly affected trees may show few, if any symptoms and may appear healthy and green for up to a few years. Signs and symptoms of an infestation, when present, can include,

• Tree Canopy Dieback: Trees begin to show dead branches, usually in the canopy, after years of EAB larvae feeding. Tree top foliage may be thin and discolored.

• Epicormic Sprouting: Trees sprout limbs and foliage from the root and trunk, instead of the top.

• Bark splits: Vertical splits in the bark caused by callous tissue.

• Woodpecker feeding: Woodpeckers feed on emerald ash borer larvae located under the bark.
• S-Shaped Larval Galleries: These galleries can be found underneath the bark and are created 
when EAB larvae wind throughout an ash tree. The Emerald Ash Borer does not pose a risk to humans. All or parts of 23 northeast Illinois counties are quarantined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture at this time due to the insect having been identified. Having professionals licensed by the State of Illinois to aggressively destroy declining Ash trees or aggressive insecticidal treatments may slow the rate of local infestation.

Visit the city’s web site at and click the “Emerald Ash Borer” link on the page or contact City Forester Randy Callison at (217) 875-4820 for more information.


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