Local officials are now on the lookout as an exotic beetle has infested trees just a few counties to the south of us. Two adult Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetles have been collected from a trap in a residential tree in Boone and have been positively identified as EABby a federal identifier. The trap was placed in the tree this summer after suspect galleries were found in an ash tree branch that fell during a storm.
A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was issued on Feb. 4, 2014 and remains in place.
“The Iowa EAB team continues to respond to reports of suspected infestations as we work to monitor its movement and hopefully slow the spread. Iowans are again reminded to not move firewood as that is the quickest way to start a new infestation,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
The city of Boone Parks Department has already taken several steps to prepare for a potential infestation of the EAB. They have inventoried 100% of the street trees in the community and are assessing the condition of ash trees, as well as all other trees, in the right-of-way. The city council established funding for removal of street trees and the purchase of specialized equipment to chip large diameter trees.
Boone officials have made information available for private property owners to help them address the potential of ash tree infestation on their own property at boonegov.com/eab.
The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.
The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states increases the risk of spreading EAB infestations. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly transporting infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. Besides being transported by vehicle, the adult beetle can also fly short distances of approximately two to five miles.
With the exception of trunk injection, the window has closed for using other preventive methods against emerald ash borer this year. Trunk injections can be done by certified pesticide applicators until September 1, 2014. Other control measures (soil injection, soil drench, and basal trunk sprays) will need to wait until mid-April to mid-May 2015. This gives people the opportunity to have landscape and tree service companies to bid on work, and for the landowner to review these bids before next spring.
Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.