Update: Emerald Ash Borer Found In Rock Island, Cedar Counties - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Update: Emerald Ash Borer Found In Rock Island, Cedar Counties

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Update: The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says an Emerald Ash Borer has been found in a fourth Iowa location.

The insect showed up in a tree at a Mechanicsville residence in eastern Iowa's Cedar County. The first three confirmed sightings were in Allamakee, Des Moines and Jefferson counties.

The beetles are native to Asia and were first detected in Michigan in 2002. Since then the insects have stripped entire neighborhoods of ash trees, killing more than 50 million of the trees.

Earlier post:

The following information was released by the Illinois Department of Agriculture:

The emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive pest responsible for killing millions of ash trees in North America, has been discovered in Rock Island County.

The tree-killing beetle was discovered in Hasselroth Park by an Illinois Department of Agriculture employee. Because no infestations of the pest previously had been confirmed in the county, the department submitted larva it collected at the park to USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for identification. The agency confirmed the specimen as EAB Sept. 27.

Rock Island is the 31st Illinois county with a known infestation of EAB. The detection there followed finds in Jo Daviess and Whiteside counties earlier this summer and effectively means the beetle is now located throughout the northern third of the state.

"The devastation of urban tree canopies is becoming more and more noticeable in communities throughout northern Illinois and people are asking what they can do about it," EAB Program Manager Scott Schirmer said. "Treatment is certainly an option for some ash-tree owners. However, while considering treatment to conserve high value ash, it's also a good time to evaluate the canopy landscape in your area and begin reforesting with other species of trees and diversifying your own backyard canopies."

The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed more than 25 million ash trees.

The beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Forty-one Illinois counties currently are under quarantine to prevent the artificial or "human-assisted" spread of the beetle through the movement of infested wood and nursery stock. A new, new amended quarantine that includes Rock Island, Jo Daviess and Whiteside counties soon will be put in place, but not until after IDOA has finished inspecting monitoring traps that were placed in the state this year to track the beetle.

The quarantine prohibits the removal of the following items:

  • The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
  • Ash trees of any size.
  • Ash limbs and branches.
  • Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
  • Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
  • Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
  • Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.

The counties under quarantine are Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Henry, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Shelby, Stark, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.