Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Story City

Staff Writer
Story City Herald
Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Story City

Iowa now has 13 infested counties after beetles were found in Story City. Two Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) larvae were collected by a homeowner from a residential tree in Story City and have been positively identified as EAB by a federal identifier. Story County is the 13th confirmed infestation in the state. A conference call and press conference involving the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa State University and Story City officials was held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014.

A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was issued on Feb. 4, 2014 and remains in place.

“We continue to monitor EAB closely and the Story City infestation is the 9th confirmed infestation in Iowa during 2014. The Iowa EAB Team again reminds Iowans to not move firewood as that is the quickest way to start an infestation in a new location,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The City of Story City has inventoried the street trees in the community and working with the Story City Tree Board will continue to monitor, assess, and address ash trees. Story City will have information available for private property owners at www.cityofstorycity.org after September 1st.

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

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 increases the risk of spreading EAB infestations. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly transporting infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. Besides being transported by vehicle, the adult beetle can also fly short distances of approximately two to five miles.

With the exception of trunk injection, the window has closed for using other preventive methods against emerald ash borer this year. Trunk injections can be done by certified pesticide applicators until September 1, 2014. Other control measures (soil injection, soil drench, and basal trunk sprays) will need to wait until mid-April to mid-May 2015. This gives people the opportunity to have landscape and tree service companies to bid on work, and for the landowner to review these bids before next spring.

Please contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked in counties not currently known to be infested. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, proof of a reproducing population is needed and an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that are threatening Iowa’s tree population, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com. Please contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team for further information:

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

Paul Tauke, DNR State Forester, 515-242-6898, Paul.Tauke@dnr.iowa.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

Mike Kintner, IDALS, 515-725-1470, Mike.Kintner@IowaAgriculture.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

John Moran, Story City Parks & Recreation Superintendent, 515-733-2121

Frequently Asked Questions/Answers on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

1. What is the emerald ash borer? It is a very small, shiny green beetle (½ inch long x ? inch wide; about the size of Mr. Lincoln’s image on a penny).

2. What does EAB eat? Hosts are species (and cultivars) of ash in the genus Fraxinus. Hosts include green ash (e.g., ‘Marshall Seedless’, ‘Patmore’, and ‘Summit’), white ash (e.g., Autumn Purple®) black ash, blue ash, and pumpkin ash. Manchurian and Chinese ash trees are primary hosts in its homeland [Eurasia]. Mountain ashes (Sorbus species) are NOT hosts.

3. Where is EAB from? This beetle is native to Asia and is found in China and Korea. It also has been reported in Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Taiwan. EAB arrived in the United States sometime before 2002 in wood packing materials.

4. How did it get to Iowa? Most EAB 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 (2 to 5 miles).

5. Should I be concerned about EAB? Yes. It kills ash trees, usually in 2-4 years. In the Midwest, millions of ash trees have been killed by EAB since 2002. There are about 3.1 million urban ash trees and an estimated 52 million ash trees in forests in the state of Iowa. Statewide, Iowa averages 16-17% ash on city property, though the ash component in tree inventories can reach 87%.

6. How do I know if I have an ash tree in my yard? Two sources to check on tree identification are: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/ItemDetail.aspx?ProductID=1482 and http://www.extension.iastate.edu/forestry/iowa_trees/tree_id.html

7. How do I know if my ash tree is infested? Look for the following symptoms: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/EAB-or-Native-Borer and https://store.extension.iastate.edu/Product/Common-Problems-of-Ash-Trees

a. Thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree b. Water sprouts (suckers) halfway up the trunk

c. Feeding notches on edge of leaflets

d. Woodpecker feeding sites/many bark flakes on lawn e. S-shaped feeding galleries under dead bark

f. D-shaped exit holes (1/8 inch diameter)

8. For counties not yet known to be infested with EAB, who can help me determine if my tree is infested? Contact one of the following if you suspect EAB in your tree:

a. State Entomologist Office, IDALS: 515-725-1465

b. Iowa DNR Forestry, 515-281-4915

c. ISU Extension and Outreach 515-294-1101

9. Who should be thinking about treating ash trees? If you are a homeowner within 15 miles of a known infested area, you can consider treatment of a healthy ash tree during the growing season (see #10 below). If you are not in a known infested area we do not recommend treatment at this time.

10. Ash Borer Management Options www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2084.pdf

a. Ash trees can be protected with insecticide applied by a commercial pesticide applicator or the homeowner. Trees must be healthy, vigorously growing, and valuable to your landscape.

b. Most of the treatments must be done each year for the life of the tree. There is one treatment that lasts for two years (Tree-Age).

c. Keep in mind that treatment may not be effective for a given tree due to past injuries, age of the tree, soil moisture, soil compaction, and other site and environmental factors.

d. Preventive treatments are most effective. Infested trees with less than 30% dieback of the crown might be saved for a few years, but the tree’s crown will be misshaped as a result of removing the dead branches.

e. Preventive treatments for EAB are NOT recommended until a confirmed EAB site is 15 miles away. Treatment outside this risk zone is not prudent.

f. Systemic insecticides require time and active tree growth for distribution in the ash tree.

Most products must be applied in early spring to be effective. One product, Tree- Äge, can be trunk-injected throughout the growing season (until September 1) by a commercial pesticide applicator.

g. Soil drench homeowner treatments are effective for ash trees up to 60 inches in

circumference (20 inches diameter), while granular treatments are recommended for trees up to 36 inches in circumference (12 inches diameter). Homeowners can make only one application per year.

h. There are several treatment options available for ash trees when a commercial pesticide applicator makes the application. Always use a certified applicator with experience in treating trees.

i. There is a per acre use limitation for soil treatments and basal bark treatments; consult the product label when planning applications.

j. ISU Extension and Outreach does NOT recommend canopy sprays because of limited effectiveness, the need for specialized equipment, spray drift, and possible adverse effects to nontarget organisms.

11. If I am contacted by a pesticide applicator to treat ash trees for EAB in the fall or winter, what course should I take? The best time to make a preventive application for EAB is spring; some products can be used throughout the summer and early fall (before leaf color starts to change). IF you live within 15 miles of a confirmed EAB infested site, get an estimate for the treatment. It is best to get at least one additional estimate before any work is done. IF you live outside the risk zone, thank the applicator for showing interest and keep the company information on file.

12. Where has EAB been found in Iowa? EAB infestations have been found in 13 Iowa counties. Johnson County is not considered infested at this time based on the finding of a single adult beetle; there is no evidence of a reproducing population in this county. Counties considered infested:

Allamakee –New Albin, Lansing, Black Hawk Point, Plough Slough (2010)

Black Hawk–Waterloo (2014)

Boone – Boone (2014)

Bremer–Waverly (2014)

Cedar – Mechanicsville (2013)

Des Moines – Burlington (2013)

Henry – Mt. Pleasant (2014)

Jasper – Newton (2014)

Jefferson – Fairfield (2013)

Muscatine – Muscatine (2014)

Story – Story City (2014)

Union – Creston (2013)

Wapello – Eddyville (2014)

13. Now that EAB has come to Iowa, is there some plan to manage/contain this pest? Yes, a detailed plan has been developed by collaborative agencies. The EAB Response Plan and other current Iowa information about EAB are given at: www.extension.iastate.edu/pme/EmeraldAshBorer.html

14. What does an EAB quarantine mean? A quarantine by 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. Homeowners must not remove their ash tree or firewood from their tree to an area outside the quarantine. Tree removal companies must not haul logs or firewood outside the quarantine area unless inspected and treated as required by the regulations.

15. How many counties in Iowa have been quarantined? The entire state (99 counties) of Iowa has been quarantined for EAB.

16. What should a homeowner or tree care company do with ash trees cut down in or near the infested area? Dispose or use the wood within the quarantined area.

17. What general recommendations are available to communities? The Iowa Department of Natural Resources – Forestry Bureau has worked with several communities to deal with EAB infestations. Contact Tivon Feeley (515-281-4915) or Emma Hanigan (515-281-5600) for more information.

18. Where can I find current information about EAB on the Internet? Sites to gather current information about this exotic pest include:

a. National site: www.emeraldashborer.info

b. ISU Extension & Outreach site: www.extension.iastate.edu/pme/EmeraldAshBorer.html

c. IDALS site: www.IowaTreePests.com

d. IDNR site: www.iowadnr.gov/Environment/Forestry/ForestHealth/EmeraldAshBorer.aspx

Who is a local contact? John Moran, Story City Parks & Recreation Superintendent- 515-733-2121, jmoran@windstream.net