Emerald ash borer (EAB), the invasive green beetle that is a devastating pest of North American ash trees, has been confirmed as being present in Hamblen Township in Brown County.
The area in which the beetle was found is not near Brown County State Park or Yellowwood State Forest. DNR experts say that the beetle probably was transported to the area by firewood movement, which likely occurred 3-4 years ago.
EAB has now been found in 20 Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, Brown, DeKalb, Elkhart, Floyd, Hamilton, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marion, Noble, Porter, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, White and Whitley.
Quarantine procedures are being implemented in Brown County to help manage the spread of this pest. The quarantine regulates the movement of ash products, including ash nursery trees, ash logs and all types of hardwood firewood. Once the quarantine is implemented, it will not be legal to transport these items out of Hamblen Township without a compliance agreement provided by the DNR.
EAB, first found in Indiana in 2004, is a bright green insect that is visible only during the summer. Symptoms of an infested ash tree include dieback of the leaves in the upper third of the canopy, vertical splits in the bark, D-shaped exit holes in the main trunk, S-shaped tunnels under the bark, increased woodpecker activity, and water sprouts at the base of the trunk.
Certified consulting arborist Judd Scott observed the declining ash trees in Hamblen Township and reported the trees to the DNR, which collected specimens for confirmation by the USDA/APHIS.
"This find and the suspected cause of it should serve as a reminder that an informed, concerned citizen is a powerful weapon against this insect," said Jodie Ellis, Purdue University entomology's exotic insect education coordinator. "The earlier we detect EAB, the more we can do to keep it from spreading."
For more information on emerald ash borer, or to report an infestation, visit the following website: http://www.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/index.shtml or call Indiana DNR's toll-free hotline at 1-866-NO EXOTIC (663-9684. Ellis is also available for questions by calling (765) 494-0822 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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