Emerald Ash Borer
EMERALD ASH BORER IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
As of July 2008 the counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun and Prince William and the cities of Alexandria, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park are under a permanent Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) quarantine. The quarantine restricts the movement of regulated articles from quarantined localities to non-quarantined localities. The regulated articles include ash trees, green (non-heat treated) ash lumber and ash wood products, and hardwood firewood. Regulated articles may be moved freely within the quarantined areas. The VDACS state quarantine mirrors a federal quarantine implemented by the United States Department of Agriculture to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB) from Virginia to non-infested states.
This action was taken to address the two confirmed infestations. The first infestation of the EAB was discovered on July 7th in ash trees in Herndon. Two days later, a second Fairfax County infestation was discovered in Springfield. Both infestations appeared to have begun years ago, indicating that the EAB may have spread to other areas hindering eradication efforts. “The Emerald Ash Borer is a serious threat to ash trees in Virginia,” said Todd Haymore, Commissioner of the VDACS. “VDACS and our partners are doing everything we can to document the extent of the original infestations and limit the spread to surrounding areas.”
The EAB is a highly destructive, invasive species that has severely damaged the forests in Michigan and Ohio killing millions of ash trees. The insects can be spread by unintentionally moving infested wood from one location to another. Ash trees of all ages, sizes, and relative health are vulnerable to the EAB. The insect is difficult to detect because trees typically do not show any obvious signs of infestation until one year or more after the tree has been attacked. By then, the insects will have moved on to other ash trees.
Eradication through cutting and chipping infested trees is the only control method currently available. A systemic insecticide for use on individual trees has recently been approved and may be widely available within a year. However, the treatment will be very expensive and likely require yearly treatments. This method is not practical for most municipalities and homeowners trying to halt the progress of the insect. Replacing ash trees with other species not susceptible to the emerald ash borer is an easier and less expensive option.
More information about the Emerald Ash Borer available at http://na.fs.fed.us/firewood/.
Last Updated (Thursday, 26 July 2012 15:02)