Damage to Trees Increases as Emerald Ash Borer Beetle Spreads

Washington, D.C. – May 23 to 29, 2010, has been designated Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Beetle Awareness Week and the public is being asked not to move firewood.

Federal and State agencies are waging war against the EAB, a small but destructive beetle that already has killed tens of millions of ash trees since being detected in 2002. Typically EAB does not travel far on its own, but it can live in cut wood and it has spread across 14 states, because people have moved EAB-infested firewood.

The damage comes from the EAB larva, which eats the wood under the bark and starves the tree of water and nutrients, slowly killing the tree over one-to-two years. Trees in neighborhoods, as well as forests and campgrounds are affected. EAB infestations already have cost municipalities, property owners, and industries tens of millions of dollars.

Research is being conducted by the USDA and at universities to understand the beetle’s life cycle, to find ways to detect new infestations, control EAB adults and larvae all to try and contain the infestation. However, there is no cure yet for the devastation caused by the beetle, which is why federal, state and local cooperators are reaching out to the public.

The goal is to alert all citizens but especially those who live in the 14 infested states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin – about the severity of the issue. A significant number of counties in these states are under quarantine, thereby prohibiting the movement of firewood. Some locales are enforcing the quarantine with fines for those found transporting ash trees, logs or firewood from EAB infested areas.

The scope of this problem could reach the billions of dollars nationwide if not dealt with. State and federal agencies have made this problem a priority and are working together to educate citizens about identification of ash trees and EAB, and about options for protecting valuable shade trees. Homeowners can also help by carefully monitoring their ash trees for signs and symptoms of EAB throughout the year.

Because many people are unaware of the deadly results of their actions when they move firewood, here are guidelines to help stop the beetle:

  • Purchase firewood locally, and burn it where you buy it.
  • Know the source of firewood, make sure it’s local.
  • When you camp, picnic or vacation, purchase firewood at your destination.
  • Never take leftover wood from your campsite or cabin back home.

What to know about EAB:

One of the most important things people can do is to never move firewood. It may contain the beetle, its larvae or eggs.

For more information, visit www.stopthebeetle.info.
State Plant Health Directors
If someone suspects EAB damage, they are encouraged to report it to their State Plant Health Director. For a complete Plant Health Directors’ list, click here

Illinois – Steve Knight
State Plant Health Director
2300 East Devon, Ste. 210
Des Plaines, IL 60018
Phone: (847) 699-2414

Indiana – Gary Simon
State Plant Health Director
1305 Cumberland Avenue, Ste. 102
West Lafayette, IN 47906
Phone: (765) 497-2859

Iowa – Rob Meinders
State Plant Health Director
6000 Fleur Drive Des Moines, IA 50321-2871
Phone: (515) 285-7044

Kentucky – Jason Watkins
Acting State Plant Health Director
12921 West Highway 42 Prospect, KY 40059
Phone: (502) 228-8224

Maryland – Matt Travis
State Plant Health Director
2200 Broening Highway, Suite 104
Baltimore, MD 21224
Phone: (410) 631-0073
Fax: (410) 224-1142

Michigan – Craig Kellogg
State Plant Health Director
11200 Metro Airport Center Dr., Suite 140
Romulus, MI 48174
Phone: (734) 942-9005

Minnesota – Kevin Connors
State Plant Health Director
BHW Federal Bldg., Room 288
One Federal Drive St. Paul, MN 55111
Phone: (612) 725-1722

Missouri – Mike Brown
State Plant Health Director
715 Southridge Dr.
Jefferson City, MO 65109
Phone: (573) 893-6833

New York – Yvonne DeMarino
State Plant Health Director
500 New Karner Road, 2nd Floor
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: (518) 218-7540

Ohio – John Birch
State Plant Health Director
8995 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Phone: (614) 322-4700

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture
Phone: (866) 253-7189
Email: badbug@state.pa.us
Pennsylvania – Coanne O’Hern
State Plant Health Director
401 E. Louther Street, Suite 102
Carlisle, PA 17013
Phone: (717) 241-2465

Virginia – Bernetta Barco
State Plant Health Director
5657 South Laburnum Avenue
Richmond, VA 23231-4536
Phone: (804) 771-2042

West Virginia – Jason Watkins

State Plant Health Director
Route 1, Box 142
Ripley, WV 25271-9724
Phone: (304) 372-8590 Fax: (304) 372-8592

Wisconsin – Joann Cruse
State Plant Health Director
1 Gifford Pinchot Dr., Building 1, Room 204
Madison, WI 53726
Phone: (608) 231-9545