Many of the pests that cause damage to trees, wood and other wood products catch rides to new habitats on wooden packaging used for shipping common consumer goods, auto parts and other products.
One of these pests is the Emerald Ash Borer.
Here's what you need to know about this destructive wood pest.
- Who: The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a small emerald green beetle that feeds on ash trees. The borer is a type of beetle that is metallic green in color. It has a slender body and measures approximately 1/2" in length. Normally found just under the bark of ash trees, an average sized adult can fit on a penny.
- What: The emerald ash borer is an extremely destructive plant pest that damages trees. Since its arrival, the emerald ash borer has been responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. One of the most frustrating things about the emerald ash borer is that it is very difficult to determine whether an ash tree is or is not infested due to the gradual decline.
- Where: The emerald ash borer's native habitat is China and eastern Asia. The ash borer is believed to have arrived in North America, specifically Michigan, by hiding in wood packing materials. The emerald ash borer has now been detected in 13 U.S. states including: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as some parts of Canada.
- When: While the exact arrival date of the emerald ash borer into the U.S. is unknown, it was first identified in 2002 in Michigan. Within a couple of years, the emerald ash borer had spread to Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Scientific communities believe that the beetle may have been living in the United States for up to 12 years before it was identified.
- Why: Since the greatest threat of spreading the emerald ash borer is by transporting freshly chopped wood (firewood and/or packaging), many states now have quarantine procedures. The quarantine is for wooden packaging and it requires ash lumber to be treated prior to crossing state lines. The U.S. Department of Agriculture took this action to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer to non-infested areas of the United States.
Help stop the spread of the emerald ash borer in the industry and in your neighborhood.
It's important that you encourage people outside of our industry, like your friends, family, and neighbors, to help stop the emerald ash borer. Stopping the pest on all levels will benefit the wood packaging industry.
- Don’t move firewood
When we move firewood, we unknowingly contribute to the spread of the beetle. The larvae of the emerald ash borer hides under the bark of firewood. The best way to prevent the spread via firewood is to not move the wood and to buy local firewood.
- Visually inspect your trees
The best way to stop an infestation is early detection. The symptoms of an emerald ash borer infestation are usually dead branches near the top of the tree, leafy sprouts growing from the lower trunk, or bark splits with s-shaped tunnels.
- Spread the word
Talk to your neighbors about the emerald ash borer.
- Know your State and Federal regulations
It is important to understand these regulations. If you have any questions, the wood packaging experts at Nelson can help you navigate the latest emerald ash borer quarantines set by the USDA.
- Ask questions
If you purchase any ash wood product or firewood, make sure you question its origin.
Do you have an experience with the Emerald Ash Borer or similar pest? Share your pest issues with us by commenting below.
Post by: Jonathan Haynes, Nelson Sales Representative