Emerald ash borer quarantine specifics addressed

By Katie Pratt

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Jul 1, 2009)

Recently, the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist, in consultation with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, issued a quarantine for 20 counties due to the emerald ash borer. Since the quarantine was issued, questions have arisen about the emerald ash borer, including controlling its spread and effects on ash trees.

The emerald ash borer attacks ash trees. Within several years, it can kill a tree. Thus far, the emerald ash borer has been collected at sites in seven Kentucky counties: Fayette, Franklin, Jessamine, Jefferson, Kenton, Campbell and Shelby. All of these counties are included in the quarantine along with neighboring counties or counties with a high number of ash trees: Boone, Bourbon, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Oldham, Owen, Pendleton, Scott, Trimble and Woodford counties.

“The quarantine prevents the transportation of all hardwood species of firewood, ash trees, lumber, nursery stock or other material where the emerald ash borer is suspected into a non-quarantined area without a certificate or limited permit,” said John Obrycki, state entomologist and chair of the UK Department of Entomology.

Permits also are needed if ash wood products are transported from one state to another state that has quarantined areas. Untreated products in a quarantine area may be moved out of the area with a permit between October and March, which is the pest’s non-flight season. Wood materials moved within Kentucky’s quarantined area do not need a permit. No permit is needed on ash products and firewood moving into a quarantined area as long as they did not originate in a quarantined area in another state or were not transported through a quarantined area.

“The idea of the quarantine is to limit the movement of the pest,” said Carl Harper, UK senior nursery inspector.

To obtain a limited permit or certificate, individuals must have their wood products inspected by a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Office of the State Entomologist. To obtain a certificate or limited permit, contact the Office of the State Entomologist at 859-257-5838.

Individuals with ash trees should inspect their trees for the pest. The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic green bug. If the pest is present in a tree, it will leave pronounced D-shaped holes in the bark. If people see holes in the bark but are unsure if they were caused by the emerald ash borer, they may want to take a knife and smooth out the bark. The D-shape hole should become apparent.

A treatment to control emerald ash borers containing the chemical imidacloprid is available at most major garden centers; but it is expensive, so it may not be cost effective for an individual to treat infected ash trees.

Possible infestations should be reported to the Emerald Ash Borer Hotline at 1-866-322-4512 or the state entomologist’s office at 859-257-5838.

More information on emerald ash borer can be obtained at the National Emerald Ash Borer Web site at http://emeraldashborer.info, on the Kentucky Office of the State Entomologist Web site at http://www.uky.edu/Ag/NurseryInspection/, or on the UK Entomology emerald ash borer Web site at http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/EAB/welcome.html