Emerald Ash Borer
Adult Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire)
Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Expanded to Entire Western Shore New Quarantine Expands Restrictions on Ash Wood and Hardwood Firewood
ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 11, 2011) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has confirmed the presence of the emerald ash borer (EAB) in two new counties (Allegany and Anne Arundel). Based on detections this year, MDA has placed all Maryland counties west of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay under a quarantine to prohibit the movement of ash trees and wood out of the quarantined area, as well as movement of all hardwood firewood, effective immediately.
“We believe placing a quarantine on Maryland counties west of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay is the best way to secure Maryland’s Eastern Shore where EAB has not been found to date and protect our riparian forest buffer plantings,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners, to control the spread of EAB through biocontrol and surveillance activities. However, we rely upon cooperation from the community to follow the quarantine restrictions, not move firewood and to report signs of possible infestation.”
EAB was first detected in Prince George’s County after infested ash nursery stock was illegally shipped into the state in 2003. It was detected through survey in Charles County in 2008. In 2011 it was confirmed in Allegany, Anne Arundel and Howard counties.
“The existence of the EAB in central and western Maryland was not entirely unexpected, given the high prevalence of ash trees in Maryland and our proximity to Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Northern Virginia where EAB quarantines are in effect,” said MDA Plant Protection and Weed Management Program Manager, Carol Holko. “We are continuing to monitor the situation, and working closely with the USDA and University of Maryland Extension (UME) to minimize the impacts of the emerald ash borer and the quarantine on homeowners, businesses, and communities.”
The EAB is an invasive pest from Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees within three years after infestation. Ash trees are one of the most common and important landscaping trees used in Maryland and are common in western Maryland forests. Ash wood is used for all traditional applications of hardwood from flooring and cabinets to baseball bats.
Presence of the emerald ash borer typically goes undetected until trees show symptoms of being infested – usually the upper third of a tree will thin and then die back. This is usually followed by a large number of shoots or branches arising below the dead portions of the trunk. Other symptoms of infestation include: small D-shaped exit holes in the bark where adults have emerged, vertical splits in the bark, and distinct serpentine-shaped tunnels beneath the bark in the cambium, where larvae effectively stop food and water movement in the tree, starving it to death.
Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Northern Virginia are infested with EAB and have quarantines in effect. New Jersey and Delaware are conducting surveillance activities and have no EAB detections to date. Green ash is among the top five trees planted and one of the most frequently successful in riparian forest buffers. Ash is planted in more than 2,400 acres of riparian forest buffer plantings on the Eastern Shore and supports about 150 types of butterflies and moths.
Ash is the most common tree in Baltimore City with approximately 293,000 trees and accounts for about six million trees in Baltimore and surrounding counties. USDA has estimated that losses could exceed $227.5 million in the Baltimore area alone if the emerald ash borer were to become established.
To help stop this damaging beetle, homeowners and citizens who live in and travel through known infested areas can help:
- Don’t move firewood – buy it where you burn it. Hauling firewood is the most common way for damaging plant pests to be moved from one area to another. In addition, the state quarantine prohibits anyone from moving hardwood firewood or any other ash tree materials out of the regulated area.
- Don’t plant ash trees. As the EAB is expanding its range in Maryland, diversified plantings of alternative tree species are recommended for residential landscaping.
- Report any signs of the emerald ash borer to the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center at 1-800-342-2507.
For information about the emerald ash borer and the quarantine, please visit www.mda.state.md.us/plants-pests/eab/ or call 410-841-5920. Additional information is also available online at: www.stopthebeetle.info/
Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic beetle from Asia that attacks ash trees. It has killed many millions of ash trees in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The Maryland Department of Agriculture needs your help in locating possible infested ash trees and stopping the movement of the emerald ash borer into other areas
If you suspect that you have an infested ash tree with symptoms, please call our phone consultants at 1-800-342-2507 (410-531-1757 in Washington, D.C.) for further assistance Monday - Friday, 8AM - 1PM. You can also send us your contact information via our Send a Question form. Your information will be forwarded to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
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Have you seen purple traps in your neighborhood? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
Q. What do the EAB traps look like?
A. The trap is a three-dimensional triangle or prism. It’s made out of thin, corrugated, purple plastic that has been coated with non-toxic glue on all three sides. The purple prisms are about 24 inches long and hang vertically in an ash tree or are secured to the trunk of a tree. To increase the attractiveness of the trap to the beetles, it is baited with a lure (Manuka oil).
Q. Why is the color purple significant and what is the lure?
A. For many insects, color frequently plays an important role, and EAB is no exception. Scientists found that buprestids (the insect family to which EAB belongs) in general are more attracted to red and purple hues compared to other colors. Researchers initiated a study using a variety of red and purple traps to determine which trap attracted the most beetles; the purple trap achieved the best results. To improve the purple traps’ attractiveness to EAB adults, they are baited with oil from the Manuka tree. Researchers found that there are four active compounds in Manuka oil that are also produced when an ash tree is stressed. Researchers also discovered there was an EAB antennal response to these compounds. In field tests when baited traps and non-baited traps were compared, traps baited with Manuka oil attracted more beetles than traps that were not baited.
Q. If a purple trap is in my area, does that mean EAB is there?
A. Purple traps help detect EAB. A trap located in your community does not mean EAB is present; it means we are looking for the beetle. The goals of the 2008 EAB Survey are to define the leading edge of the infested area and to locate new outlying EAB infestations.
Q. Why are the purple traps only placed in ash trees?
A. Ash trees are the only host species for EAB. The lifecycle of EAB is dependent upon the ash tree; the adults feed on the leaves, lay eggs in its crevices, and the larvae develop under its bark. All ashes (green, white, black, etc.) are EAB hosts.
Q. How long will the traps be in place?
A. The purple traps will be placed in ash trees beginning in June 2008. The traps will be monitored and remain in place throughout the summer during the beetles’ flight season and will be removed in the fall.
Q. Is the purple trap safe?
A. The purple traps pose no risk to humans, pets, or wildlife; however, the non-toxic glue can be extremely sticky and messy if touched.
Q. What should I do if I see a purple trap on the ground?
A. In Maryland, if you see one on the ground or damaged, please call the Home and Garden Information Center at 1-800-342-2507.
Q. How does the purple trap work?
A. During EAB adult emergence, beetles fly around ash trees, nibbling on leaves and looking for a mate. If an EAB lands on a purple trap, it will get stuck in the glue. In the fall, crews will return to trap sites to collect samples and remove the traps.
Q. What happens when an EAB is found on a purple trap?
A. The insect samples collected from the traps will be cleaned and sent to a USDA identifier for verification. All verifications of EAB will be communicated to the appropriate State plant regulatory official.
Adapted from APHIS Factsheet, April 2008
For more information on the 2008 National EAB Survey, please visit www.purpleeabsurvey.info
Photos taken in Howard County, MD
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For help determining if you have an ash tree, please use the following links:
Symptoms of an ash borer infestation include:
|Infested ash trees showing branch dieback and water sprouts.
|Cracks in the bark. Galleries may or may not be visible.
|Larval galleries under the bark.
|D-shaped exit hole is approximately 1/4 inch. Holes from other borers are 3/8 inch or larger and round or oval.
|Adult beetle on penny for size comparison.
|Various stages of larvae. Mature larvae are approximately 1 1/4 inches.
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Excellent Links to Emerald Ash Borer Information
Image Credits from top to bottom:
David Cappaert, www.forestryimages.org - UGA9000019
David Cappaert, , www.forestryimages.org - UGA1460076
Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service, www.forestryimages.org - UGA1301046
James W. Smith, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org - UGA1460032
David R. McKay, USDA APHIS PPQ, www.forestryimages.org - UGA1439002
Lexa Panessidi, State of Michigan, www.forestryimages.org - UGA1241011
David Cappaert, www.forestryimages.org - UGA1460072
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