Emerald Ash Borer
Exotic Pest - Emerald Ash Borer
In the Summer of 2002, the imported pest called the emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in Southeast Michigan. This insect can kill all species of North American ash (Fraxinus) trees including green ash, white ash and black ash. Since its discovery, over 25 million trees have been killed in ten states and Canada.
In August of 2008, the insect was found in Wisconsin. There are confirmed finds of the insect in Washington, Ozaukee, and Kenosha Counties.
The insect is native to Asia. It is thought it was brought to the USA in wooden packing crates. There is much research being done on the EAB to better understand the insect - and ultimately control it. A big cause of the spread of the insect is by inadvertently moving it in firewood.
Stevens Point residents are advised to not plant any type of true ash tree (green ash, white ash, black ash) in the near future.
There are nearly 7,200 trees on City of Stevens Point parkways, encompassing over 130 different species and cultivars, of which 1,100 trees are ash. In light of the threat of the emerald ash borer, the city has not planted any ash trees to its parkway tree inventory since the Fall of 2004.
The City of Stevens Point is preparing for emerald ash borer in several ways. We are watching how events unfold with this insect, and do not plan on planting any more ash trees in the foreseeable future. The Forestry Department has even asked local retail nurseries to avoid selling ash trees. A diverse tree population minimizes the effects of tree disease and insect outbreaks, and Stevens Point is planting many different tree species.
The Stevens Point Forestry Department has participated in Wisconsin Department of Agriculture detection tree program in 2008, and has set up monitoring traps for EAB. Forestry personnel have been trained to know what to look for in regards to this insect. The city is also trying to keep staff, elected officials, and residents informed about the Emerald Ash Borer through press releases and information on this Web site.
Every publicly-owned tree in the city right of-way is inventoried on a computer database, and all ash tree information has been updated. With the location and size of every ash street tree known, better and more accurate management decisions can be made.
In 2009, ash trees on other publicly managed land (City parks and cemeteries) will be inventoried. Planning with the disposal/use of the waste wood is also being worked on.
For more information, residents can call the Stevens Point Forestry Dept. at 346-1532, or look to the State of Wisconsin's EAB webpage
Treating Trees to Prevent Emerald Ash Borer
The City of Stevens Point continues to take steps in its management of the inevitable arrival of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The Stevens Point Forestry Department will be treating ash trees along Main and Clark Streets. Only publicly-owned ash trees between the street and sidewalk along these streets are scheduled for treatment. First Choice Tree Care has volunteered to provide free applicator services, in conjunction with City forestry personnel, to help with this project.
This is a work in progress, and management plans remain fluid as we learn more about this insect. The City is trying to take a proactive approach in dealing with EAB, and will keep its residents informed through press releases and this web site.
About the Emerald Ash Borer
The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect native to Asia which was most likely introduced into the United States via wooden packing crates unloaded in Detroit, Michigan. The insect arrived around 2002 and has been spreading, killing millions of ash trees, ever since. In Asia, it is an insect of little impact, but in the United States, it is a different story. Due to lack of natural predators or disease to keep the insect in check, and the fact that our native ash trees have no defense mechanism for the insect, EAB is devastating ash trees here. EAB kills trees by the larval life stage of the insect feeding under the bark of the trees and thereby cutting off the water and food supply system of the tree. EAB affects all true ash trees - green, black, blue and white ash.
The insect has been confirmed in the Wisconsin counties of Washington, Ozaukee, Brown, Milwaukee, Vernon, and Kenosha Counties. Emerald ash borer has not been found in Portage County. It is a difficult insect to detect due to much of its life is spent under the bark of the tree. Most times once EAB is found, it is established, and has most likely been in the area for a few years.
Trees will be treated with imidacloprid. It is the same insecticide found in products sold at area retail and garden stores. A common brand name is Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub. If you have an ash tree you wish to try and protect from this insect, make sure that the product is labeled for Emerald ash borer, and make sure that you follow the label's instructions. Products available to homeowners have been successful in protecting smaller sized ash trees, but for larger ash trees, trees greater than 14 inches in diameter, it is recommended to contact an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist and have them professionally treated. An ISA certified arborist can be found in the telephone book under tree services. Currently the treatment is good for one year, with September and October being excellent times for application.