Wednesday, June 11, 2014

More on Emerald Ash Borer

A number of items have come across my desk recently on emerald ash borer.  I wanted to share them with my readers.  The first in an article concerning ash seed preservation.  As with any species faced with the threat of being wiped out across it's range by an exotic insect, preserving seed from that species is of the utmost importance.  There may be a day when we have control measures in place, a biological means of controlling the insect.  If that becomes reality re-establishing the species where it once existed would be of huge ecological and economic value.  The article below pertains to how seed from ash is now being collected in Pennsylvania and preserved (it can store for up to 100 years) in the hopes of being used to re-establish the species at some point.

There are also a couple of new publications available online that I wanted to share. The first is a new edition (June 2014, second edition) of Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Trees from Emerald Ash Borer. It was put together by the Northeast IPM Center. Another entitled Frequently asked Questions Regarding Potential Side Effects of Systemic Insecticides Used to Control Emerald Ash Borer is a fact sheet that was put out by Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio Extension Services.  It may help address concerns about treating trees. 

May 17, 2014 
DCNR preserving seeds of ash and other tree species that are facing threats

Inside the envelopes that are delivered to the Penn Nursery every fall is a future forest. The envelopes contain the seeds of ash trees, which are collected by staff from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and sent to the agency’s Penn Nursery during a brief two-week period each fall. The effort may be the last chance for ash trees in the state, which are being infested with the emerald ash borer.

Once the insect burrows into a tree and lays its eggs, death is imminent. But at Penn Nursery in Centre County, there is hope. That’s where the seeds are processed and eventually shipped to a U.S. Forest Service lab in Colorado, where they are placed in cryogenic storage. “A lot of the seed can be stored for 100 years,” said Tina Alban, forest nursery operations manager for DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry. “Someday, we’ll pull it back out and use it to re-establish the ash tree in Pennsylvania’s forest.”

The emerald ash borer, which is actually a beetle, has killed tens of million of ash trees since it was first identified in Michigan in 2002. It surfaced in Pennsylvania in 2007 and has been found throughout the state.  Click here to read the rest of the story.

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