Emerald ash borer found in rural Waukee tree

Do not move firewood out of quarantined areas, experts warn.

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Evidence of Emerald Ash Borer infestation, including woodpecker activity, characteristic galleries and larvae have been found in residential trees near Waukee.

DES MOINES – Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in a residential tree in the southeast corner of rural Dallas County, making this the 21st county in Iowa where this invasive beetle has been found. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The current EAB infestation was found as a result of an arborist contacting state officials about a suspect ash tree. Investigation by the Iowa EAB team revealed characteristic galleries, recent woodpecker activity and live larvae that were positively identified by federal identifiers.

“This finding is the closest to Polk County and Iowa’s capital city to date,” said Mike Kintner, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s EAB and gypsy moth coordinator. “With this discovery, Iowa has declared three positive counties in 2015 where this ash-killing pest has been found.”

Twenty-one Iowa counties now have confirmed EAB infestations. A statewide quarantine, issued Feb. 4, 2014, remains in place, 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.

“We still strongly urge Iowans to not move firewood long distances,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “A large portion of Iowa is not showing signs of EAB infestation; let’s keep those areas EAB-free as long as possible by not moving wood that potentially harbors EAB or other tree pests. Be vigilant and report suspicious symptoms in counties that are not yet known to be infested to a member of the Iowa EAB Team.”

lifecycle_5The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 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 and other plant pests. 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 two to five miles.

The window for preventive treatment measures, including trunk injection, soil injection, soil drench and basal trunk sprays, is mid-April to mid-May. If landowners are interested in protecting valuable and healthy ash trees within 15 miles of a known infestation, they should have landscape and tree service companies bid on work, review the bids and treat during the recommended treatment time.

Contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. 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, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, visit www.IowaTreePests.com. Contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team for further information:

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