Department of Public Works
900 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
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Emerald Ash Borer in Chattanooga
CLASSIC "D" SHAPED EXIT HOLE MADE BY AN ADULT IN ASH WOOD
Emerald Ash borer was confirmed in Chattanooga in June, 2013.
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. It was detected in Windsor, Ontario across the Detroit River shortly thereafter. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borer is native to Asia, and probably arrived in the United States around 1990 in solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes. Emerald ash borer was found in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, northern Illinois and Maryland in 2006, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2007, Wisconsin, Missouri and Virginia in summer 2008, Minnesota, New York, Kentucky in the spring of 2009, Iowa in spring of 2010, and Tennessee in the summer of 2010. It continues to spread. Since its discovery, EAB has:
• Killed tens of millions of ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in other states as well as in Ontario and Quebec.
• Caused the US Department of Agriculture, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other regulatory agencies to enforce quarantines (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Kentucky) and levy fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
• Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars in treatment and removal costs or lost production of valuableproducts.
Since its arrival the Emerald Ash Borer has rapidly expanded its range. EAB has killed an estimated 50 - 100 million ash trees so far and threatens to kill most of the 7.5 billion ash trees throughout North America. The insect threatens the entire North American Fraxinus genus, unlike past invasive tree pests, which have threatened only one or a few species within a genus. Green ash and black ash trees are preferred hosts. White ash is also killed rapidly, but usually only after green and black ash trees are eliminated in an area. Blue ash displays some resistance to the emerald ash borer larvae by forming callous tissue around EAB galleries; however, they are eventually killed as well. Unlike most other insect pests, EAB attacks healthy trees just as readily as stressed or declining trees.
University researchers believe that EAB will prove to be the single most destructive insect pest to enter North America in terms of both the number of trees affected and the economic losses associated with the treatment and removal costs.
WHAT CAN HOMEOWNERS DO:
■ Leave firewood at home. Don't transport firewood, even within the state.
■ Use firewood from local sources near where you're going to burn it, or purchase firewood that is
certified to be free of pests (it will say so on the label included with the packaging).
■ If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.
■ Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. If you suspect your ash tree could be infested with
EAB, call Tennessee Department of Agriculture's Regulatory Services Division at 1.800.628.2631.
Other Useful Links:
State of the Trees Report
Tree Protection BMPs for Contractors and Builders