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Contact: Robert Waltz or Jodie Ellis
Phone: (317) 232-4120 or (765) 494-0822
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov
DNR

For Immediate Release: Jan 20, 2006
Emerald ash borer found in Hamilton County

Nearness to county line indicates probability it is also in Marion Co.

The emerald ash borer, an exotic species of beetle that destroys ash trees, has now been confirmed at a location in Hamilton Co. The site is within a hundred yards of the Marion Co. line and has been there for seven years. Therefore, the DNR today issued an emergency order that officially restricts the movement of ash products in Hamilton and Marion Counties.

DNR Director Kyle Hupfer said the state’s legal restrictions "prohibit transportation of ash trees and most ash tree products out of the infected counties. This includes nursery stock, logs or untreated lumber with the bark attached, any type of firewood except for pine, and any composted or uncomposted ash chips or bark chips that are one inch or larger."

Hupfer said these measures are designed to slow the spread of the infestation while federal and university scientists look for ways to permanently eradicate the pest from the U.S.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation is along the side of Hazel Dell Parkway between 96th St. and 106th St. Carmel’s Urban Forest Specialist found the infestation while trimming the ash trees. Samples of the insect were sent to an expert at the U. S. Department of Agriculture who has since confirmed that the specimens were emerald ash borer.

Carmel City Forester Scott Brewer today expressed the city’s concerns. "The city views our woodlands and street trees as valuable assets; we will certainly do what we can to identify the scope of this pest and work to limit its spread."

Brewer also announced the city would hold a public meeting, in conjunction with the DNR, about the EAB infestation as soon as more is known.

The infestation is within a few dozen yards of the Marion Co. line and, so is presumed to have traveled into Marion County as well. Therefore, the official restrictions have also been placed on Marion Co. The City of Indianapolis has indicated its willingness to cooperate with state and private developers to continue working to slow the spread of the EAB.

"We realize it may only be a matter of time until a confirmed site is found in Marion County," said Indy Parks administrator Jason Kissel. "We will continue to work with public and private local property owners on plans to plant a diversity of trees and slow the spread of this infestation."

Earlier infestations in Indiana have been found in LaGrange, Steuben, Randolph and Adams counties. Large infestations are also present in Michigan, Ohio and Canada.

DNR personnel and others will begin surveying the area around the new find at the end of the month. Residents of the area should be able to easily identify these workers who will be wearing distinctive clothing. The survey will determine the number of ash trees in the immediate vicinity, and the extent of the infestation.

Jodie Ellis, the exotic insects education coordinator at Purdue University said the infestation is about seven years old. "This find is not evidence that emerald ash borer is spreading throughout Indiana," she said. "What it means is that this particular pocket of infestation has been here for a while and is just now old enough to be detected. This infestation occurred before EAB was first found in Detroit and is the result of the unintentional movement of EAB-infested nursery stock."

Ellis said it's hard to pinpoint where exactly EAB is in the state because it often takes two to three years for ash trees to show symptoms of EAB infestations.

State Entomologist Dr. Robert Waltz said homeowners can play a part in slowing the spread of the EAB. "We rely on local residents, foresters, loggers, tree removal or trimming crews and others to report possibly infected sites," Waltz said. "The public also can help us slow the spread of this insect by not moving firewood and by burning all campfire wood when they are visiting campgrounds."

DNR Director Hupfer also warned people in the restricted areas about possible scam artists. "Unfortunately, certain individuals see the emerald ash borer problem as an opportunity to make some fast cash," he said. "If someone comes to your home claiming to be able to 'cure' your ash trees of EAB, be suspicious. If someone tells you that your ash trees are infested and that he or she will cut them down for a price, take their name and number and report them to the DNR."

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.

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 adult form of the insect is only visible during the summer months. During the cooler months, EAB is in its larval, or immature, form and can only be found under the bark of ash trees. Emerald ash borer larvae destroy live ash trees by eating the vascular tissue which supplies nutrients to the tree, Ellis said.

It is difficult to distinguish damage from emerald ash borer from damage caused by the many native borer insects that attack ash. Two of the main ways to distinguish the emerald ash borer from native species are by the characteristic D-shaped exit holes in the main trunk and the presence of S-shaped feeding tunnels beneath the bark. Other symptoms include vertical splits in the bark and increased woodpecker activity.

Additional information and photos of the EAB are available at Purdue's Web site at www.entm.purdue.edu/eab/.


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