The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced the detection of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in additional counties in the Commonwealth; the newly infested counties include Alleghany, Bath, Fauquier and Page.
EAB has now been detected in 21 Virginia counties and seven cities since its initial appearance in Fairfax County in 2003. The entire Commonwealth of Virginia is under a federal EAB quarantine. The federal quarantine prohibits the interstate movement of regulated articles such as ash logs, ash nursery stock and firewood since these articles have the potential to move the Emerald Ash Borer to areas that are not infested. Even though these articles can move freely within the state, Virginians can take steps to prevent the spread of EAB to additional cities and counties in the Commonwealth. For example, VDACS encourages campers to buy firewood at the local camp site and burn it there rather than transporting it to the camp site from distant locations.
EAB is a highly destructive, invasive beetle that has killed millions of ash trees in the US and Canada. Ash trees comprise approximately 1.7 percent of Virginia’s forests by volume, which amounts to roughly 187 million ash trees, all susceptible to EAB. The EAB larva chews into the soft layer of wood beneath the bark, cutting off the flow of water and nutrients. Trees infected with EAB eventually die. EAB in the larval stage are difficult to detect as they feed under the tree bark enabling them to hitch a ride undetected to uninfested areas when people transport firewood or other infested wood products.
“The presence of the Emerald Ash Borer in Virginia threatens the loss of all ash trees in the Commonwealth,” said Sandy Adams, VDACS’ Commissioner. “Even though the federal quarantine allows the movement of regulated articles within Virginia, we urge all Virginians to do whatever they can to stop the spread of EAB and other invasive pests.”
Dr. Chris Asaro, forest health specialist with the Virginia Department of Forestry said, “Options for protecting individual ash trees from EAB are available. People with very large, valuable ash trees would be advised to contact a certified arborist who can treat these individual trees with an effective insecticide every two to three years. Treating these valuable trees is far less expensive than removing a very large, dead tree. Unfortunately, there are no practical management options for EAB in a forested setting.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture website shows a map of quarantined states and areas ataphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/emerald_ash_b/downloads/multistateeab.pdf. More information on EAB and other invasive pests is available at http://www.hungrypests.com/.