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IN 2011, KEEP PREPARING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF EMERALD ASH BORER

May 24, 2011

GREEN BAY -- Now is not the time to ease up on fighting the emerald ash borer, according to a state plant pest and disease specialist.

The half-inch long tree-killing beetle was first found near Newburg in 2008, and has since been detected in Brown, Crawford, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Vernon and Washington counties. It spreads slowly on its own, but it is moved long distances inside firewood, unprocessed logs and other ash products.

"Emerald ash borer hitchhiked to North America inside wood packing materials," said Bill McNee, gypsy moth coordinator, with the Department of Natural Resources in Green Bay. "It is 100 percent fatal to ash trees that are not treated with insecticide."

May 22-28 is Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week across the United States to draw attention to the important role homeowners, municipal employees, foresters, arborists and woodlot owners play as partners in early detection of the pests infestations.

"Look in your community and your woods for signs of emerald ash borer. Property owners or a municipal staff person are usually the first to spot infestations," says McNee. "Signs to look for on ash trees include dieback in the tree top, sprouting near the base of the tree, D-shaped holes about 1/8" wide, S-shaped winding tunnels beneath the bark, and bark cracks with signs of tunneling beneath."

For information on the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation, visit [www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov] (exit DNR). Contact your city forester or state officials at 1-800-462-2803 if EAB is suspected.

Finding an infestation in its early stages gives communities and property owners more time to manage the impacts of this deadly tree pest, and may allow for insecticide treatments to keep the area's high-value ash trees alive. Emerald ash borer is currently known to occur only in a few spots in Wisconsin, and the infestations are believed to be relatively young (five to seven years). Elsewhere, preparing for impacts before the pest is present in the area will reduce the future impacts to landowners and local governments.

Now that emerald ash borer is in Wisconsin, McNee says there are actions both communities and property owners can take to lessen the impacts.

"By replacing most ash trees with other species (emerald ash borer only infests ash) and treating high-value trees with insecticide, the future impacts of dead and dying ash trees will be reduced," says the forester.

Well established infestations result in major removal and disposal expenses when trees begin dying in large numbers, straining the financial resources of individuals and communities.

Communities and landowners are encouraged to develop a plan for managing the impacts of emerald ash borer, if they don't already have a plan prepared. The advice of a forester or arborist is recommended. A well-prepared plan will include:

Visit [www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov] (exit DNR) for more information about emerald ash borer and other forest pests.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Bill McNee, Gypsy Moth Suppression Coordinator, 920-303-5421 (office) or 920-360-0942 (cell)

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 24, 2011




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