Officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced yesterday that a quarantine will be established in Essex County to stop the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The quarantine will take effect Tuesday, April 1st, 2014.
This decision comes after the December 2013 discovery of EAB in North Andover as well as an extensive survey of the affected area and public hearings.
"The Emerald Ash Borer poses a very serious threat to ash trees across the Commonwealth," said DCR Commissioner Jack Murray. "We believe a county-wide quarantine of Essex County provides the best chance for slowing the spread of this invasive species."
The quarantine order means that certain products will be regulated from moving outside the contained area, including:
All hardwood firewood (any piece of wood smaller than 48")
All ash nursery stock and any ash lumber that has not been treated
EAB warning signs include:
Thinning of the upper canopy of the tree
Increased woodpecker activity
Early summer/fall leaf loss
"D-shaped" holes in the bark of the tree
Epicormic sprouting (see photo for example)
Proper wood treatments include:
The removal of bark and half an inch of wood
Dry kiln sterilization
Fumigation and heat treatments
The initial survey of the area revealed that no trees were found to have EAB larvae present except in the initial area of infestation, according to the DCR. Plans for future surveys are currently being discussed and EAB traps will be utilized again this summer across Massachusetts. Approximately 100 ash trees will be girdled in Essex County and will serve as trap trees to continue to help identify the extent of the infestation.
Click here to read the full press release from the DCR. To report possible infestation, please contact the US Forest Service at 1-866-322-4512. To learn more about the EAB, please visit www.emeraldashborer.info.
Photo Credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources - Forestry Archive, Bugwood.org. See more here.
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