Ash quarantine expanded to cover additional LaGrange Co township
The emerald ash borer (EAB), an exotic species of beetle that destroys ash trees, was recently confirmed at an additional location in LaGrange Co. As a result of the discovery, the DNR has extended the quarantine for most ash products to include Lima Township. Clay, and VanBuren townships were placed under the quarantine in 2004; Newbury Township was quarantined earlier this year.
The Indiana Department of Natural Resources found live EAB larvae on an ash tree at a campground near Howe, Ind. in Lima Township.
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.
In keeping with the federal eradication program for emerald ash borer, all ash trees within a half-mile radius of the infestation will be removed. That removal will likely take place this winter.
Hoosiers can play a part in slowing the spread of the EAB. "This infestation likely happened because humans moved infested ash products," said Jodie Ellis, the exotic insects education coordinator at Purdue University. "More than likely it occurred when firewood was moved."
That's why it's important that Hoosiers avoid moving firewood. Ellis said if it's necessary to move firewood, it's best to debark it before traveling to check for EAB or other insect larvae. 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 approximately three years after the vascular tissue is destroyed.
One of the main ways to distinguish the emerald ash borer from native species is the presence of D-shaped exit holes in the ash tree's trunk and limbs. Other symptoms include leaf thinning in the top third of the tree, vertical splits in the bark and increased woodpecker activity.
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/eab/.