EMERALD ASH BORER CONFIRMED IN BREMER AND WAPELLO COUNTIES, IOWA

State of Iowa Seal

State of Iowa Seal

Eight counties in Iowa have confirmed infestations

DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in a residential tree in Eddyville in Wapello County, and trees in the public right-of-way in Waverly in Bremer County on February 12, 2014. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The EAB infestation in Eddyville was found by a citizen who reported suspect ash trees to an Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regional forester. With the assistance of the Iowa EAB Team, larvae were found, and positively identified by federal identifiers as EAB.

A certified arborist hired by the City of Waverly to do a tree inventory discovered larvae in declining ash trees along two city streets. The larvae were positively identified by federal identifiers as EAB.

A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was issued on Feb. 4, 2014.

“The winter months provide a unobstructed view of the condition of the branches and main stem of ash trees, allowing for a clear view of woodpecker activity and insect damage on the trees,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “I wouldn’t be surprised if more infestations are found in Iowa before we shake the final snowfall from our boots and trees leaf out this spring.”

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB even further. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.

Contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

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