Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Kansas case of emerald ash borer confirmed in WyCo

August 30, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that the emerald ash borer is now in Kansas with a case confirmed Wednesday, Aug. 29, in Wyandotte County.

In a news release, state officials said the discovery of the destructive pest was made by Kansas Department of Agriculture and USDA staff during a survey being conducted as a result of the July 2012 confirmation of emerald ash borer in Platte County, Mo. The staff identified a tree during the visual survey that showed symptoms of the emerald ash borer. They removed a portion of the tree and sent it to a USDA lab in Michigan for further analysis.

What is emerald ash borer?

All ash trees are susceptible to infestation by the emerald ash borer. Trees become infested when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark. The eggs hatch into larvae that bore into the tree. They tunnel between the bark and wood and disrupt water and nutrient movement, eventually killing the tree. Emerald ash borer appears to prefer trees under stress but is capable of killing perfectly healthy trees.

Adult emerald ash borers are about one-half inch long — smaller than a penny — and they emerge in late spring. The larvae feed just under the bark of a tree, which damages and eventually kills the tree. Trees infested with emerald ash borer will have canopy dieback, water sprouts, bark splitting, serpentine-like galleries and D-shaped exit holes.

To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit emeraldashborer.info.

Regulatory officials removed a live insect from the sample and confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer on Aug. 29.

“In Kansas, we have worked for years on emerald ash borer prevention and surveillance efforts. These vigilant surveillance efforts allowed us to catch the pest early,” said Jeff Vogel, KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program manager. “We are making additional plans right now for increased surveillance efforts to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer.”

Emerald ash borer, which is a pest of ash trees that is native to Asia, was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Mich., in summer 2002. Since that time, the beetle species has killed millions of ash trees in 15 states, from Minnesota to Connecticut. Financially, the United States risks an economic loss of $20 billion to $60 billion because of this pest.

The state has implemented an emergency intrastate quarantine of ash trees, firewood and other ash tree materials such as compost or wood chips for Wyandotte County to prevent further spread of the pest.

The quarantine will remain in effect for 90 days or until rescinded or modified by the state. The quarantine requires all ash trees and materials in Wyandotte County to be treated or disposed of properly.

If Kansans think any of their trees may have the pest, they should notify KDA immediately at (785) 862-2180 or at ppwc@kda.ks.gov.

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