Friday, September 15, 2017

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Northern New York

emerald ash borer photo courtesy DECThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that invasive pest emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found and confirmed for the first time in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties. DEC captured the insects in monitoring traps at the two locations.

DEC confirmed the specimens as adult EABs on August 25. The invasive pest was found within a few miles of the Canadian border and may represent an expansion of Canadian infestations into New York.

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a serious invasive tree pest in the United States, killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in forests, yards and along streets. The beetles’ larvae feed in the cambium layer just below the bark, preventing the transport of water and nutrients into the crown and killing the tree. Emerging adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. The pests may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.

EAB, which is native to Asia, was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. It was found in Windsor, Ontario, the same year. This beetle infests and kills all North American ash species (Fraxinus sp.) including green, white, black, and blue ash.

EAB larvae can be moved long distances in firewood, logs, branches, and nursery stock, later emerging to infest new areas. As part of the State’s ongoing efforts to slow the spread of EAB, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) and DEC have quarantine regulations defining a Restricted Zone encompassing the current known EAB infestations. Regulated articles may not leave the Restricted Zone without a compliance agreement or limited permit from NYSDAM, which allows restricted movement during the non-flight season (September 1 – April 30). Regulated articles from outside of the Restricted Zone may travel through the Restricted Zone as long as the origin and the destination are listed on the waybill and the articles are moved without stopping, except for traffic conditions and refueling. Wood chips may not leave the Restricted Zone between April 15th and May 15th of each year when EAB is likely to emerge.

More information on the EAB threat to Northern New York can be found here.

Photo: Emerald Ash Borer, provided by DEC.

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6 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    On a similar note, I have evidence of what appears to be an Asian Longhorn Beetle infestation on my property in Essex County. I have reported the characteristic pencil-sized exit holes in a mountain ash to NY and Federal authorities. I am hoping I am wrong. Be on the lookout!

    • Boreasfisher says:

      Do you happen to know whether this critter attacks red pine? Large stands are dying in Essex County and I have yet to find a definitive explanation of the culprit.

      • Boreas says:

        Neither does as a rule. But there is a common natural insect that works on unhealthy pines. The Northeastern Longhorn Beetle. They are very common in our area, but typically only go after sick trees. I would suspect this fungus as the primary cause for red pine decline:

        • Boreasfisher says:

          Thank you for this…I have been using a USDA Forest Service online handbook, which has also been very helpful though the documentation seems mostly to come from Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. One thing that seems ubiquitous is the advice about avoiding monocultures….a bit late for that!

          My trees were planted in the 20s and show various pest holes
          along the periphery of the stand. But you may well be right that these are secondary effects of a root fungus. Will find out…good luck with your beetle infestation…

          • Boreas says:

            If rainfall in the NE increases along with temperatures, this ‘wet feet’ phenomenon could present problems with other plants/trees as well in areas with susceptible soils.

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