Prairie Village Latest Updates:
- Where did the emerald ash borer (EAB) come from?
The natural range of Agrilus planipennis, or the emerald ash borer, is eastern Russia, northern China, Japan, and Korea. Before June of 2002, it had never been found in North America.
- How did it get here?
We don't know for sure, but it most likely came in ash wood used for stabilizing cargo in ships or for packing or crating heavy consumer products.
- Does EAB attack trees other than Ash?
No, EAB has not yet been found to damage trees other than Ash.
- Does it only attack dying or stressed trees?
Healthy ash trees are also susceptible, although beetles may prefer to lay eggs or feed on stressed trees. When EAB populations are high, small trees may die within 1-2 years of becoming infested and large trees can be killed in 3-4 years.
- Where has it been found?
It has been found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Ontario, Quebec, and now Kansas. Most of these infestations are not new (i.e., EAB has not spread this far in the past 5 years).
- What happens to infested ash trees?
The canopy of infested trees begins to thin above infested portions of the trunk and major branches because the borer destroys the water and nutrient conducting tissues under the bark. Heavily infested trees exhibit canopy die-back usually starting at the top of the tree. One-third to one-half of the branches may die in one year. Most of the canopy will be dead within 2 years of when symptoms are first observed. Sometimes ash trees push out sprouts from the trunk after the upper portions of the tree dies. Although difficult to see, the adult beetles leave a "D"-shaped exit hole in the bark, roughly 1/8 inch in diameter, when they emerge in June.
- What do emerald ash borers look like?
The adult beetle is dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch-long and 1/8 inch wide.
- How is this pest spread?
We know EAB adults can fly at least 1/2 mile from the tree where they emerge. Many infestations, however, were started when people moved infested ash nursery trees, logs, or firewood into uninfested areas. Shipments of ash nursery trees and ash logs with bark are now regulated, and transporting firewood outside of the quarantined areas is illegal, but transport of infested firewood remains a problem. PLEASE - do not move any ash firewood or logs outside of the quarantined area in Wyandotte County.
- How big a problem is EAB?
EAB is becoming an international problem. The scope of this problem could reach the billions of dollars nationwide if not dealt with. State and federal agencies have made this problem a priority. Homeowners can also help by carefully monitoring their ash trees for signs and symptoms of EAB throughout the year.
- What is being done statewide?
Kansas is involved with the Great Plains Forest Partnership, a collaborative between Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and the U.S. Forest Service. The goal is to prepare for the arrival of invasive insects, such as Emerald Ash Borer through public education and monitoring.
- What is Prairie Village doing about the issue?
The Prairie Village City Council is considering all viable options in dealing with Emerald Ash Borer. The council welcomes feedback at any city council meetings where EAB is being discussed.
- Who do I call to get more information on the Emerald Ash Borer or to report an infested tree?
Contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection and Weed Control program at (785) 862-2180. You may also contact the USDA Emerald Ash Borer Hotline toll-free at 1-866-322-4512.
- Is there a treatment for Emerald Ash Borer?
Insecticide treatments can be effective in protecting trees from Emerald Ash borer. The treatment available for homeowner use is a sole application of imidacloprid (such as Bayer Advanced Garden Tree and Shrub Control). The application should be made in May and is most effective on small trees. Tree care professionals are able to use additional product such as trunk injections and trunk and foliage sprays.
U.S. Department of Agriculture www.Stopthebeetle.info
Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State Collaboration www.emeraldashborer.info
Kansas Department of Agriculture http://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/plant-protect-weed-control/emerald-ash-borer
Adapted from Dr. Deborah McCullough and Robin Usborne, Michigan State University Extension, FAQ, February 2011. www.emeraldashborer.info. and Kansas Department of Agriculture “EAB FAQ”.
Photos courtesy of Stop the Beetle.