Emerald Ash Borer, or EAB, has been positively identified in a residential tree in the city of Creston, the county seat of Union County in southwest Iowa. This is the fifth location where the invasive beetle has been found in Iowa. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.
Officials at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and other state and federal agencies involved with the monitoring and control of this insect pest made the announcement on December 19 about the Creston discovery.
This latest EAB infestation was found as a result of an arborist contacting state officials about a suspect ash tree. Investigation by Iowa EAB Team members (a group of specialists from the agencies involved) revealed characteristic galleries and D-shaped exit holes in dead branches, and a partial adult beetle was positively identified by federal identifiers.
This is the fifth location where Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Iowa
The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from 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.
EAB infestations had previously been discovered in Allamakee County in May 2010, Des Moines County in July 2013, Jefferson County in August 2013 and Cedar County in October 2013.
"I think we're seeing the culmination of an EAB population that is finally large enough to detect, coupled with trees readily showing symptoms because of multiple stresses in recent years, including EAB, drought and floods," says state entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture.
Iowans are warned not to transport firewood across county or state lines
A quarantine covering 25 counties in eastern Iowa was issued on Nov. 1, 2013 intended to slow the accidental movement of EAB by humans. An additional quarantine in response to this new confirmed infestation is being developed. A quarantine restricts movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of the quarantined counties.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans 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 EAB even further. Most EAB infestations in the U.S. 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.
Ash trees are abundant in Iowa and the U.S., heavily planted as a landscape tree
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 urban areas. According to USDA Forest Service, Iowa has an estimated 52 million rural ash trees and approximately 3.1 million more ash trees in urban areas. It is unknown how many public and residential ash trees are located in Creston.
"Forestry Bureau staff with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources have completed 242 urban tree inventories in Iowa, in communities with less than 5,000 residents," says state forester Paul Tauke. "Statewide, Iowa averages 16% to 17% ash on city property, though the ash component can be as high as 87% in some towns. There is no inventory for Creston, but we hope this latest infestation will motivate communities that have not taken an inventory of their forestry resources, to do so very soon."
What can you do to control or prevent spread of this insect?
"Preventive treatments in spring (mid-April to mid-May 2014) are available to protect healthy and valuable ash trees within 15 miles of the known infested area," says ISU Extension entomologist Mark Shour. For details, see ISU Extension publication PM2084.
To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa's tree population, visit the Iowa Tree Pests website. Or, for more information contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team:
* Robin Pruisner, State Entomologist, 515-725-1470, [email protected]
* Tivon Feeley, DNR Forest Health Coordinator, 515-281-4915, [email protected]
* Emma Hanigan, DNR Urban Forest Coordinator, 515-281-5600, [email protected]
* Jesse Randall, ISU Extension Forester, 515-294-1168, [email protected]
* Mark Shour, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-5963, [email protected]
* Laura Jesse, ISU Extension Entomologist, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, 515-294-0581, [email protected]
* Donald Lewis, ISU Extension Entomologist, 515-294-1101, [email protected].
* Jeff Iles, ISU Extension Horticulturist, 515-294-3718, [email protected]