Second Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Found in Erie County

August 19, 2011 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM EDT

By WKBW News

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Second Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Found in Erie County

August 19, 2011 Updated Aug 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM EDT

Albany, N.Y. (WKBW release) -- A new infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in the Towns of Cheektowaga and Lancaster, Erie County, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced Friday.

EAB was discovered for the first time in Erie County in South Buffalo earlier this summer. EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black and blue ash.

A professional arborist with Haskell Tree Service, Inc. discovered the EAB infestation recently while he was working with a homeowner in Lancaster to develop an ash tree management program for her trees. DEC Forestry staff confirmed the beetle was EAB.

DEC forestry staff, in cooperation with local municipalities, Cornell University, Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management and concerned citizens, began collaborative response efforts to address the infestation immediately after its discovery. An intensified
delimitation survey at the site and surrounding area is being conducted to determine the extent of infestation. Initial surveying suggests that the infestation appears to be present in the Towns of
Cheektowaga and Lancaster, and the Village of Depew, centering around Transit Road between Genesee Street and Broadway.

“Survey work continues in the infestation area and information obtained will be used to guide appropriate management responses,” said DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder. “DEC is in the process of establishing an EAB partnership coalition in Western New York to educate and share resources with communities about fighting and slowing the spread of EAB, maintaining a healthy forest and preparing for impacts from EAB. DEC thanks local property owners who have allowed survey crews access to their property.”

EAB was first detected in New York state in the town of Randolph, Cattaraugus County in June of 2009. Since then, infestations have been confirmed in eight other counties including Genesee,
Monroe, Livingston, Steuben, Greene, Ulster, Erie and Orange just last month. When Orange County is added, a total of nineteen counties in New York will be quarantined.

What People Can Do:

New Yorkers are urged to take the following steps to keep EAB from spreading to other areas of the state:

• Become familiar with the types of trees on your property; learn how to recognize an ash tree.

• Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If damage is consistent with the known symptoms of EAB infestation, report suspected damage to the state by calling 1-866-640-0652. Symptoms are described below and available online at
www.dec.ny.gov/animals/45428.html.

• Discuss concerns about ash trees on private property with a certified arborist, and make plans to either combat ash tree mortality with a treatment program or to remove ash trees and replace with other tree species. A listing of certified arborists can be obtained on the International Society of Arboriculture website at www.isaarbor.com/publicOutreach/findATreeCareService/index.aspx.

• Leave all firewood at home. Do not bring it to campgrounds or parks. Movement of firewood is one of the primary pathways for spreading this insect. Instead, obtain your firewood at the campground or from a local vendor - ask for a receipt or label that has the firewood’s local source.

• Adhere to firewood regulations. New York state restricts intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source.

What is Being Done in NYS to address EAB

New York state has actively surveyed for EAB since 2003, inspecting
declining ash trees and setting detection tools statewide in cooperation with Animal Plant Health and Inspection Service, US Forest Service, Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension and SUNY ESF.

After more than three years of outreach and education efforts about the risks of moving firewood and the state’s regulation, DEC is increasing its enforcement efforts to prevent the movement of untreated firewood into and around New York.

The Department of Agriculture and Markets is responsible for managing the quarantine, restricting the movement of ash nursery stock, logs and firewood. When Orange County is added, a total of nineteen counties in New York will be quarantined. NYSDAM Horticultural Inspectors are administering compliance agreements to facilitate movement of regulated materials, while reducing risk of EAB movement.

In 2008, New York adopted regulations that ban untreated firewood from entering the state and restricts intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source. This was done as a precaution against the introduction and spread of EAB and other invasive species because of the documented risk of transmission by moving firewood.

More recently, DEC adopted a strategy known as Slow Ash Mortality. SLAM encompasses a variety of approaches to address EAB infestations, including removing infested trees, more precisely defining infestation boundaries, and researching insecticides and
biocontrols (organisms that kill pests). The hope is that current research will lead to new ways to suppress EAB populations, minimize their spread and delay the death of ash trees.

It is also hoped that SLAM will buy time for communities and forest owners to prepare for EAB’s threat and potential financial impacts. More information about the SLAM strategy is available online
at www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/eabresponseplan.pdf .

The Emerald Ash Borer

The EAB has metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen; it is small enough to fit easily on a penny. (Photos are available on DEC’s website www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html.)

Damage is caused by the larvae, which feed in tunnels just below the ash tree’s bark. These tunnels disrupt water and nutrient transport, causing branches, and eventually the entire tree, to die. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction.

Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees in the United States. The beetle has been detected in 15 states and two neighboring Canadian provinces. This insect primarily spreads when firewood and wood products are moved from one place to another. Many of New York State’s forests and parklands are high-risk areas due to firewood movement. New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state; all are at risk should EAB become established across the state.