December 5, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Area Expanded

By Martha Smith
University of Illinois Extension

Stark County has been added to Illinois Dept. of Agriculture Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Area

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) has expanded the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine area, adding 14 additional counties, bringing the total to 39 counties in the quarantine. One of the counties added is Stark County. The Emerald Ash Borer was found near Toulon, IL. Due to this find in Stark, all of Marshall and Bureau counties are now included in the Nov. 10, 2011 quarantine area expansion.

What does being in the quarantine area mean? Movement of wood products and nursery stock is prohibited across quarantine boundaries. The intent is to prevent the artificial spread of the beetle through movement of infested wood and nursery stock. According to the IDOA EAB website, the quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items from the quarantine area:

• The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development

• Ash trees of any size

• Ash limbs and branches

• Any cut, non-coniferous firewood (this includes all hardwood firewood)

• Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.

• Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.

• Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer

• Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the IDOA to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.

The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. It does not pose any direct risk to public health, but does threaten the ash tree population. It feeds only on true ash trees, members of the Fraxinus genus. EAB larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the beetle was first confirmed in the Midwest in the summer of 2002, it has killed more than 25 million ash trees. EAB was first confirmed in Illinois in 2006. It is suspected that it was transported here in contaminated firewood. To prevent future occurrences, IDOA encourages Illinois residents to
purchase only locally-grown nursery stock and locally-cut firewood.

The beetle can be difficult to detect in newly infested trees, often not discovered until it has been in the area for several years. Signs of infestation include the presence of metallic-green beetles about half the diameter of a penny on or around ash trees. This will be during the months when the adults are actively flying, usually late May through July. One will also start to see a thinning of the crown and yellowing leaves. The larvae when exiting the tree leave a D-shaped hole.

University of Illinois Extension and IDOA are offering a free Emerald Ash Borer Management program on Dec. 8, in Wyoming, Illinois. The program will be held at the WiHi center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The program will include EAB—how did it get here and what can we do, EAB look-alikes, ash tree identification, recommended ash tree replacements, firewood movement and quarantine restrictions. There is no fee to attend, but pre-registration is required to reserve a lunch. You can register online at or call the University of Illinois Extension office at (309) 756-9978. Registration deadline is Dec. 5.