Trees threatened by emerald ash borer to be cut down and removed
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has today begun the first phase in its response to the infestation of emerald ash borers in Indiana.
The DNR recently completed a survey of Jellystone Park campground near Fremont in Steuben County and counted 423 ash trees that must be removed to help halt the spread of the emerald ash borer.
The felling of those trees began late this afternoon and will continue tomorrow and during the weekend. We plan to be done by Monday or Tuesday. The trees will be chipped to about a five-eighths inch size, loaded on a covered truck and transported to an incinerator in Flint, Mich.
The contractor for the job is Asplundh Brush Control out of Clair, Mich.
The adult emerald ash borer is slender with a bright metallic coppery green color. It is about one-third of an inch long. The larval, or immature stage of the insect destroys live ash trees by eating the layers under the bark of the tree that supplies nutrients. After those layers are destroyed, the tree starves to death within a short time.
Infestations are most easily identified by tiny D-shaped holes that are visible on the tree's bark. The bark may also develop lengthwise cracks or fissures.
To date, millions of ash trees have fallen prey to the emerald ash borer and a number of Michigan counties are under quarantine. The pest also has been found a few miles east of the Indiana border near Hicksville, Ohio and a few miles to the north in Quincy, Mich.
State Entomologist Dr. Robert Waltz suggests Hoosiers should take steps to help retard the spread of the emerald ash borer to Indiana.
"First, do not bring into Indiana firewood from Michigan or Ohio, particularly if the bark is still attached," Waltz said. "In general, it is best to debark all firewood if you're traveling and be sure to burn all the wood you brought with you. Under federal quarantine, it is illegal to transport firewood from infested areas to any site outside the quarantined area."
Waltz also suggested homeowners can help by keeping their trees well watered and watch out for signs of this pest. "The emerald ash borer first attacks weak and troubled trees. Ash trees need an inch of water per week to remain healthy. It's important to maintain tree vigor," he said.
On April 23 the DNR announced a quarantine on Jamestown Township in Steuben County. The quarantine forbids the transportation out of the township of any ash tree, including nursery stock, any ash logs or untreated lumber with the bark attached, and composted or uncomposted ash chips or bark chips one inch or larger. No cut firewood from any species of tree grown in Jamestown Township may be taken out of the township.
Additional information about the emerald ash borer is available on the DNR Web site at: www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/pestinfo/ashborer.htm