Ash quarantine expanded to cover additional Steuben County township
The emerald ash borer, an exotic species of beetle that destroys ash trees, was recently confirmed at a second location in Steuben County. As a result of the confirmed discovery, the DNR has extended the quarantine for most ash products to include Millgrove Township. Jamestown Township was placed under the quarantine earlier this year.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources found a live larva of the emerald ash borer on a tree in Manapogo Park in Millgrove Township. Manapogo Park is approximately one-half mile west of Jellystone Park where the pest was first found in Indiana.
Dr. Robert Waltz, state entomologist, said the quarantine forbids transportation of ash trees and most ash tree products out of the township. This includes nursery stock, logs or untreated lumber with the bark attached, and any composted or uncomposted ash chips or bark chips that are one inch or larger.
DNR personnel and others will spend the next few days surveying the area around Manapogo Park near Orland, Ind. Orland is approximately eight miles west of Pokagon State Park. Residents of the area should be able to easily identify these workers who will be wearing distinctive clothing.
Waltz said the survey will be used to determine the number of ash trees in the immediate area and the extent of the infestation. These steps are in preparation for the removal of all ash trees within a half-mile radius of the infestation. That removal will likely take place over the winter months.
Jodie Ellis, the exotic insects education coordinator at Purdue University said, "As research progresses other ways to stop the emerald ash borer will probably become available, but, for now, cutting down these ash trees needs to happen to eradicate this pest."
Homeowners can play a part in slowing the spread of the EAB. "This infestation likely happened because humans moved infested ash products," Ellis said. "More than likely it occurred when firewood was moved."
That's why it's important that Hoosiers don't bring firewood from Michigan or Ohio — two states with major infestations — into Indiana. Ellis said it's also best to debark all firewood before traveling, and that campers should burn all the wood they take with them.
The adult emerald ash borer is slender and a bright, metallic, coppery-green color. It is about one-third of an inch long, making it difficult to spot in tree leaves. The larval, or immature, form of the pest destroys live ash trees by eating the vascular tissue that supplies nutrients to the tree, Ellis said. The tree starves to death three years after the vascular tissue is destroyed.
It's difficult to diagnose the emerald ash borer damage because of the prevalence of other ash-boring pests in Indiana. One of the main ways to distinguish the emerald ash borer from native species is the characteristic D-shaped exit holes in the main trunk and the rate at which this pest kills trees. Other symptoms include vertical splits in the bark and increased woodpecker activity.
Cliff Sadof, a Purdue Extension entomologist, said the beetle has already killed more than 6 million trees ash trees in Michigan since it was found in July 2002. Indiana has approximately 150 million ash trees.
Residents who see evidence of the emerald ash borer should contact Ellis at (888) EXT-INFO or the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Invasive Species Hotline at (866) NO-EXOTIC.
Additional information and photos of the EAB are available at Purdue's Web site at www.entm.purdue.edu/emerald_ash_borer/index.htm.