The 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.