Closer and closer the emerald ash borer comes.
On Monday, the Asian tree-killing bug was discovered in Kenosha, it was confirmed yesterday. If I were an ash tree in North Bay, I'd be trembling in my roots.
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection reported:
One adult EAB beetle was discovered on a survey trap on the east side of the city of Kenosha on Monday, Aug. 10. The beetle was sent to federal identifiers on Tuesday, Aug. 11, and subsequently confirmed as EAB on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The beetle was discovered during a routine inspection of the trap.Previously, the emerald ash borer has been discovered in five Wisconsin counties: Brown, Crawford, Ozaukee, Vernon and Washington. Quarantines currently exist in Crawford, Fond du Lac, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Vernon and Washington counties, and are pending for Brown and Kenosha counties.
The Kenosha News reports today that" two ash tree saplings imported from an ash borer-quarantined area of Illinois were found to have ash borer larvae last fall," but those larvae were found at a time when there was no threat of their escaping. That discovery is believed unconnected to Monday's.
Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive wood boring beetle that feeds on the tissues under the bark of ash trees (Fraxinus spp) and kills them. It is 100 percent fatal to native ash trees of any size, any age, healthy or unhealthy, according to research by Michigan State University and the US Forest Service. Wisconsin has more than 770 million ash trees, nearly 7 percent of the state's tree population, according to state officials. It is estimated that more than 50 million trees are dead or dying in the Midwest because of this infestation.
On its own, the beetle will fly only a few miles; however, it is transported to new areas when people inadvertently move emerald ash borer larvae inside of infested firewood, ash nursery stock, and other ash items.
The map below shows emerald ash borer detections in North America as of July 1. The areas outlined in blue -- including most of Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio -- are under federal quarantine for emerald ash borer.
Our April 2008 story, about how North Bay is getting ready for the presumably inevitable arrival of the emerald ash borer, is HERE.