When you see words like infestation, quarantine and death you know you’ve got a pretty serious probem and that’s exactly the case with Ash trees all over Ohio. It turns out that cases of ash tree death have been documented in 5 new counties in Ohio, including Summit and Greene Counties so the Ohio Department of Agriculture has expanded its quarantine prohibiting the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash tree debris to include the latest counties. Unfortunately Portage County is already under a quarantine so be careful not to try to transport any wood that may host Agrilus Planipennis — aka the Ash Tree Borer.
The Borer doesn’t look all that bad but it’s damage can be lethal within 3 to 5 years of infestation. With some 3.8 billion Ash trees at risk in Ohio, the loss of the Ash could be the modern equivalent of the American Elm trees and the Dutch Elm fungus that nearly wiped out the entire population. Here’s the latest update from Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Five New Counties
Agriculture Department Adds Ashland, Richland, Summit, Greene and Morrow Counties to Quarantine
REYNOLDSBURG , Ohio (July 28, 2009) – Ohio’s Emerald Ash Borer quarantine was expanded today by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to include five new counties. Ashland, Richland, Summit, Greene, and Morrow counties were added to the quarantine, which helps slow the spread of the ash tree-killing insect by prohibiting the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash tree materials.
U.S. Department of Agriculture officials confirmed the positive identification of specimens collected in each of the counties. Ashland, Richland, and Summit county specimens were taken from the purple traps placed across Ohio by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The Greene County specimen was retrieved by an Ohio State University Extension agent, and the Morrow County specimen was obtained following a tip from a U.S. Department of Agriculture employee. These findings mark the first known infestations in each of these counties.
Since Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Ohio in 2003, the department has placed 50 counties under quarantine. The quarantine makes it illegal to transport ash trees, parts of ash trees, and all hardwood firewood from any quarantined county into a non-quarantined county without a compliance agreement from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. Ohio’s quarantine map is also available at the department’s Web site. Violators of this quarantine may face fines up to $4,000. Due to a federal quarantine, it is also illegal to take these items from the state of Ohio.
Firewood dealers, businesses, or woodlot owners interested in marketing and transporting ash trees or firewood from quarantined areas can do so only with a department-approved compliance agreement. These agreements stipulate handling practices that mitigate the artificial spread of Emerald Ash Borer.
Ash trees infested with Emerald Ash Borer typically die within five years. The pest belongs to a group of metallic wood-boring beetles. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length, one-eighth inch wide, and fly from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees and leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide when they emerge as adults.
For information on the Emerald Ash Borer, compliance agreements, firewood restrictions, purple traps, and quarantine updates, call 1-888-OHIO-EAB.
Ohio Quarantine Map
Regional State Infestation Map