At one time elm and oak trees were all over this country. Due to an onslaught of diseases and pests, and restrictions on use of effective pesticides, many of the these trees are now gone. Now a new enemy faces the ash trees, both wild and in domestic yards and it has gained a foothold in Iowa.
The new enemy of trees is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team reported their current results in the Sept. 19, 2012 Iowa farm Bureau Spokesman. The direct quotes below are all from the Spokesman article. This invasive pest that kills ash trees was initially found in Iowa along the Mississippi River in Allamakee County in 2010 and due to efforts at containment it hasn’t spread beyond that single county. A quarantine is in effect that prohibits movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber, or any other article that could further spread EAB. Healthy trees in neighboring areas have began treatment. Across the Midwest, the government is asking people not to move firewood, and instead buy and burn it locally. It’s very important that you respect this quarantine.
Ash trees are among the highest percent of remaining native trees and also very popular among trees planted in yards. “According to the USDA Forest Service, Iowa has an estimated 52 million rural ash trees and approximately 3.1 million more ash trees in urban areas.”
The EAB is a native of eastern Asia. It was first detected in the United States near Detroit, Michigan in 2002. It kills all known ask species “by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing layers.” They are distinctive in appearance “the metallic-green adult beetles are a half inch long, and are active from late-May to early-August in Iowa. Signs of EAB infestation include one-eighth inch D-shaped exit holes in ash tree bark and serpentine tunnels packed with sawdust under the bark.”
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