(JACKSON CO.) - An ash tree-destroying beetle has been spotted in two locations in Jackson County, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
The emerald ash borer has been detected in the far northwest part of the county in the Maumee area and also at the Vallonia Nursery, said Phil Marshall, forest health specialist and a state entomologist. Steps will be taken to eradicate the beetle.
The Emerald Ash Borer is a green beetle native to Asia and Eastern Russia. Outside its native region, the emerald ash borer (also referred to as EAB) is an invasive species, and emerald ash borer infestation is highly destructive to ash trees in its introduced range. The Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in America in June 2002 in Michigan. It is believed to have been brought to America unintentionally in ash wood which was used to stabilize crates during shipping.
The most significant damage to a tree by the emerald ash borer takes place when the insect is in its larval stage. The larvae feed on the conductive tissue of the tree. This tissue is what transfers the nutrients and water from the roots to the leaves, and when this is disturbed, the tree begins to die. At the onset of winter, the larvae relocate to the bark of the tree, effectively cutting off the tissue more. This ultimately results in the death of tree. This can take place over a number of years, and the first noticeable sign is usually some die back in the crown of the tree.
The tree will usually be dead by the following year or soon after. In areas where the insect is invasive and has no natural predators, it can and usually does have a devastating effect on the local ash tree population.
Prevention of EAB is possible by the use of a systemic insecticide into the base of the tree. This treatment can prevent damage to the tree for up to two years. Soil injections are another option. These insecticides are injected directly into the soil surrounding the base of the tree, and are then transported through the rest of the tree via the roots. There are two insecticide spray treatments that can be used as well. The first is a spray which is applied to the trunk and absorbed through the bark. This treatment is less invasive to the tree and soil, however if the tree has thick bark absorption is slow and limited. The second spray treatment is a protective cover spray, which is applied to the branches and trunk of the tree. This treatment kills adult beetle and newly hatched larva; however it will not kill eggs.
It is estimated that there are 8 billion ash trees in the United States. Since the arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer, approximately 150-200 million ash trees have already died and this number is expected to rise. The borer travels by the movement of firewood and nursery stock. The beetle, once in its adult life stage, can also fly up to a half mile under its own power.
The Emerald Ash Borer has spread to 22 states within the United States as well as Canada, since its discovery in North America in 2002. Certain areas in North America have been federally quarantined by the United States and Canadian national governments to prevent the spread of the EAB into other areas forested by ash trees. The largest area consists of the region stretching from the midwestern area of the United States to the eastern coast.
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