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Local

More EAB confirmations

Be proactive with your ash trees

The destructive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Peoria and Tazewell counties, raising the number of infested Illinois counties to 36.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) recently announced the detections occurred in residential areas. In Peoria County, arborists discovered the beetle first near Dunlap, and then subsequently in Peoria. In Tazewell, IDOA staff made the find in Minier using surveillance traps.

The EAB is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed an estimated 250 million ash trees.

Warren Goetsch, IDOA Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs, said the finds are significant because they occurred outside the boundaries of the state quarantine that were established to prevent the spread of the beetle.

“Until now, all the new infestations this year — in Carroll, Stephenson and Vermilion counties — were within the quarantine area, and therefore, didn’t require any boundary changes,” Goetsch said.

According to a press release issued by the IDOA, the quarantine currently includes 49 Illinois counties and is intended to prevent the artificial or “human-assisted” spread of the beetle through the movement of potentally-infested wood and nursery stock.

Although the boundaries officially haven’t been redrawn, Goetsch has encouraged residents to put the quarantine guidelines into practice by making sure not to transport any firewood or untreated wood products outside their county of origin.

“I’d also encourage them to identify the trees on their property, and if ash are present, be proactive in managing them through treatment or removal. Tree companies, villages and cities should familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations pertaining to the processing and transporting of ash materials,” Goetsch said.

As previous reported in the BCR, local arborists Dennis Taylor, who identified an adult EAB in Princeton in June, said being proactive about the issue is key. He confirmed there are effective and proven suppression techniques for EAB. He said leaving the ash to fend for itself or thinking EAB won’t destroy is a certain death sentence to the trees. He recommended contacting an arborist as soon as possible to assess the property.

The counties under current quarantine are Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

For further information about the beetle, visit www.IllinoisEAB.com on the internet.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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