Emerald ash borer (EAB), an exotic pest from Asia that attacks ash trees, has been found in the Hoosier National Forest in Monroe County. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) entomologists discovered the pest in the Hardin Ridge Recreation Area located in Polk Township.
The DNR, with assistance from the U.S. Forest Service, will conduct additional surveys around the site to determine the extent of the infestation. Infested trees will be cut down and the wood burned. Removal of the material still remaining will occur between the start of winter and April 15, when the EAB are under the tree bark.
EAB, first found in Indiana in 2004, has now been identified in 21 Indiana counties: Adams, Allen, Brown, DeKalb, Elkhart, Floyd, Hamilton, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Marion, Monroe, Noble, Porter, Randolph, St. Joseph, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, White and Whitley. People moving firewood, logs and nursery stock have been the main cause of spread.
Quarantine procedures are being implemented in Monroe 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 Polk Township without a compliance agreement provided by the DNR.
The bright green insect 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.
"In addition to keeping an eye out for symptoms on ash trees, we continue emphasizing to citizens how important it is not to move firewood," said Jodie Ellis, Purdue University entomology's exotic insect education coordinator."Most infestations are not a result of the natural movement of emerald ash borer, but rather because unsuspecting citizens have moved firewood."
This infestation was detected through the joint DNR/U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey. Although the survey used purple panel traps, this site was detected in a girdled ash trap tree.
"The purple panel trap is a new survey tool implemented this year," said Phil Marshall, state entomologist. "Girdled ash trap trees were also used in high-risk sites, such as campgrounds and sawmills. Doing this helped detect infested sites that were missed by panel traps, and vice versa."
For more information on EAB, or to report an infestation, visit http://www.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/index.shtml or call Indiana DNR's toll-free hotline at 1-866-NO EXOTIC (663-9684). To view the EAB Rule and EAB quarantine declaration visit: http://www.in.gov/dnr/entomolo/
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