Pennsylvania expands Emerald Ash Borer quarantine to 43 counties

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From Green Right Now Reports

Forty-three Pennsylvania counties are now under a quarantine that is intended to prevent the spread of the invasive, tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer, State Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding said today. He also asked travelers not to haul firewood between counties.

Redding said the pest has been found in two additional counties — Cumberland County at the Pennsylvania Turnpike mile marker 226 near Carlisle, and in Union County at the intersection of State Gameland and Matthew Brown roads in Gregg Township. The Emerald Ash Borer has now been found in 17 counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Butler, Centre, Cumberland, Fulton, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Union, Washington and Westmoreland.

The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department said it has expanded its quarantine to include 31 counties, including the six where the beetle has been found this year and others that are contiguous. Those counties are: Blair, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntingdon, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Montour, Northumberland, Perry, Potter, Snyder, Somerset, Tioga, Union, Venango and Warren.

The quarantine is intended to restrict the movement of ash nursery, green lumber, and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, from the quarantine area. Because it is difficult to distinguish between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood and wood chips—including ash, oak, maple and hickory—are considered quarantined.

Redding said Emerald Ash Borer poses a serious threat to Pennsylvania’s nation-leading hardwoods industry, which contributes nearly $25 billion to the economy.

The wood-boring beetle is native to China and eastern Asia. Officials said the pest likely arrived in North America in wooden shipping crates. It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In addition to Pennsylvania, the beetle is attacking ash trees in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.

People who suspect they have seen Emerald Ash Borer should call the state’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189.

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