Destructive Tree-Killing Insect Confirmed In Southeast Iowa

Destructive Tree-Killing Insect Confirmed In Southeast Iowa

Department of Agriculture says a bug that has killed millions of ash trees has been found in a second Iowa location.

Emerald Ash Borer has been positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Burlington in Des Moines County, making this the second location where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. This insect pest initially was found on Henderson Island in the Mississippi River in Allamakee County in 2010. That's the northeast corner of Iowa. This second location where it's now been discovered is in the southeast corner of the state.

Emerald Ash Borer kills all ash tree species by larval burrowing under the bark and eating the actively growing layers of the trees. This insect is now considered to be one of the most destructive forest pests ever seen in North America.

EMERALD ASH BORER: A dreaded killer of ash trees—an insect known as the Emerald Ash Borer--has been positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Burlington in Des Moines County in southeast Iowa. This is the second location where this invasive beetle has been found in Iowa, according to Iowa Department of Agriculture officials.

This insect is one of the most destructive forest pests even seen in North America

State entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture says the state ag department, along with USDA, is issuing a quarantine for Des Moines County. A quarantine by the state and U.S. agriculture departments means that hardwood firewood, ash logs and wood chips cannot be moved out of the area without a permit.

Pruisner says all Iowans are strongly cautioned not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread the ash borer even further. Most ash borer infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Emerald ash borer is native to eastern Asia, and was detected in the United States near Detroit, Mich., in 2002. Since 2003, the Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team has been conducting annual surveys to determine whether and where this pest is in Iowa. The team includes officials from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

Too late to apply insecticide this year; state forestry experts estimate Iowa has over 55 million ash trees in the state

Can you apply insecticide to control this pest? "Treatments against Emerald Ash Borer if made now are too late to apply this year. If you are within 15 miles of Burlington, Iowa, and have a healthy ash tree, preventive treatments can be made mid-April to mid-May 2014," says ISU Extension entomologist Mark Shour. For more details, see ISU Extension publication PM 2084, which is available at the ISU Extension website.

Ash is one of the most abundant native tree species in North America, and has been heavily planted as a landscape tree in yards and other urban areas. According to the USDA Forest Service, Iowa has an estimated 52 million rural ash trees and approximately 3.1 million more ash trees in urban areas. Burlington has about 700 ash trees in the public right-of-way and an estimated 2,000 residential trees.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa's tree population, please visit this link. Or, for more information contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team:

Robin Pruisner, State Entomologist, 515-725-1470, Robin.Pruisner@IowaAgriculture.gov

Tivon Feeley, DNR Forest Health Coordinator, 515-281-4915, Tivon.feeley@dnr.iowa.gov

Emma Hanigan, DNR Urban Forest Coordinator, 515-281-5600, emma.hanigan@dnr.iowa.gov

Jesse Randall, ISU Extension Forester, 515-294-1168, Randallj@iastate.edu

Mark Shour, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-5963, mshour@iastate.edu

Laura Jesse, ISU Extension Entomologist, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, 515-294-0581, ljesse@iastate.edu

Donald Lewis, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-1101, drlewis@iastate.edu.

Jeff Iles, ISU Extension Horticulturist, 515-294-3718, iles@iastate.edu

TAGS: USDA Extension
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