Local, state and federal efforts to achieve early detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Onondaga County have proven worthwhile with the discovery of the beetle in the Town of Dewitt. Experts from the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service have confirmed the presence of EAB on a purple prism trap used on July 29, 2013. Experts from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Cornell Cooperative Extension volunteers and staff will be surveying the surrounding area to determine the geographic extent of the infestation.
Emerald ash borer EAB is a small invasive green beetle that infests and kills all species of ash (Fraxinus) trees. EAB has been in the US since the mid-1990s and was likely introduced through wood packing material in Michigan where it was discovered in 2002. The first discovery in New York was in 2009 in Randolph, Cattaraugus County. It has since been found in 15 other counties in New York. Ash trees are commonly found as street trees, along roadsides, and in yards and forests throughout the region. Ash comprises roughly 13% of all trees in Onondaga County.
The Onondaga County Emerald Ash Borer Task Force has been actively working with municipalities and public agencies to prepare for EAB and coordinate management needs since April 2012. The Task Force is comprised of representatives from local agencies, tree commissions, universities, utilities and industry. The mission of the Task Force is to coordinate and facilitate the sharing of information, technology, equipment, policy and contracts in order for all stakeholders in Onondaga County to have a better and less expensive outcome in regard to EAB and ash tree management.
Experience in the Midwest indicates all ash trees will die unless treated with insecticides. Dead ash trees will need to be removed to eliminate the risk of tree failure and subsequent property damage or personal injury. Ash trees must be managed carefully in order to slow the spread of the pest throughout the community so we have time to plan and reduce costs associated with EAB. There are state and federal restrictions on the movement of wood materials, with special restrictions on wood contaminated with EAB. It is very important that no firewood be moved from the area because this may spread EAB. Landowners need to know how to properly identify ash trees on their property so they can plan for treatment or removal. Pesticide treatments or tree removals should be conducted by licensed pesticide applicators or certified tree care professionals with liability insurance and local references. Questions about ash tree management options can be directed to Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-424-9485 or by consulting a certified arborist.
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For more information about the EAB Task Force, contact Jessi Lyons at 315-424-9485, ext. 233.
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