The Emerald Ash Borer is now a big problem in Virginia, one that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services considers serious enough to warrant quarantining the entire Commowealth.
VDACS notes the action became necessary after the recent detection of EAB in Buchanan, Caroline, Giles, Hanover, Lee, Prince Edward, Stafford and Warren counties. The quarantine previously included Arlington, Charlotte, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Halifax, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Mecklenburg, Pittsylvania and Prince William counties and the cities of Alexandria, Danville, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park and Winchester.
Under the statewide quarantine, regulated articles are no longer subject to localized movement restrictions and may now move freely within the state. Since the pest is considered to already be widespread, VDACS officials no longer feel local restrictions from one county to the next to be necessary. The regulated articles include ash trees, green (non-heat treated) ash lumber and ash wood products, as well as hardwood firewood.
Many of Virginia's forests are being challenged by disease problems. Last week (week of July 24) a quarantine of Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), which attacks walnut trees and is spread by the walnut twig beetle, was extended to six counties and six cities.
It was only about one month ago when the EAB quarantine was extended to cover much of the southside region of the state.
The EAB pest can be a costly one. It is said to have killed millions of ash trees in the U.S. and Canada. It is a metallic green color, about one-half inch long and one-eight inch wide. The female deposits eggs on the bark of ash trees and after they hatch the larvae chew into the soft wood beneath the bark. Eventually, this disrupts the tree's vascular system and cuts off water and nutrients in the ash tree.
In this larval stage the larvae under the tree bark are difficult to detect. When people transport firewood the larvae hitch rides to new areas where they infest new trees.
Learn more about the Emerald Ash Borer by visiting http://www.emeraldashborer.info/ or calling 804-786-3515.
Homeowners, arborists and tree care professionals often seek information on how to protect their valuable ash trees from EAB. The website includes information on insecticide options.