Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More on Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer larvae

I had a phone call this morning from someone who thought they may have emerald ash borer (EAB) infesting a number of ash trees on their property.  They owned a 45 acre woodlot as well as a few ash trees around their house in the yard.  They noticed the bark being knocked off by woodpeckers trying to get at the larva.  I thought it would be beneficial to share a quick update with my readers as well as the below article which makes for an interesting read.

Woodpecker damage as they search for larvae under the bark 

1.  Discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002
2.  Probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material
3.  Larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients
4.  In 2013 new infestations were found in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado
5.  Has killed tens of millions of ash trees across 22 states and two Canadian provinces
6.  Now found from Colorado to Quebec and south to Georgia.

What about the cold weather this winter?  Did that have an effect on EAB populations?
The prolonged sub-zero temperatures experienced this winter in North America have raised hopes that pests like EAB will freeze to death.  Though studies suggest that this may happen to some of the EAB larvae, it looks like it may not be enough to make a big impact on the EAB population.  Click here to read what some of the experts are saying. 

For more on EAB click here to go to a series of fact sheets from Penn State Extension.
Feeding galleries made by the emerald ash borer larvae

by Dan Stiles, originally published in the Morgan Messenger
Come to find out, lots of people were aware that emerald ash borers were here in Morgan County.  It was, however, a great surprise to me.  As I look closely at my ash trees I can find some sort of emerald ash borer damage on just about all of them.

I’m reminded of an old friend that remarked about people looking, but not seeing.  I should have seen the EAB damage months ago.  EAB is now considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America.  Billions of lost dollars are involved.  EAB is an invasive, exotic insect that is native to Russia, China, Japan and Korea, and was first discovered in our country eleven years ago. 

As of this week, emerald ash borers have been detected in 29 West Virginia Counties, according to the WV Department of Agriculture.  This year it was detected in Colorado, so now ash borers have spread to 22 States.  To read the rest of the article click here.

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