July 2, 2009
Oswego County Issues Warning About Invasive Beetle Species
The emerald ash borer is an invasive Asian beetle affecting North American ash trees. It was recently discovered in western New York and can be identified by its metallic green wings and red or purple abdomen. (Photo courtesy of the New York State DEC.)
Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the bark of the tree. Other signs of an infestation include: tree canopy decay, excessive sprouting, the yellowing or browning of leaves and woodpecker damage. (Photo courtesy of the New York State DEC.)
OSWEGO COUNTY - With the summer camping season upon us, public officials and environmental organizations are asking for the public’s help in controlling and monitoring the emerald ash borer (EAB), which was recently discovered in western New York.
EAB is an invasive Asian beetle that destroys North American ash trees including black, green, blue and white species. This pest is smaller than the size of a penny and has green wings with a red or purple abdomen. Larvae disrupt the natural flow of essential nutrients and water by burrowing into the ash tree.
“It is important for the public to know that, while there are no reported cases of EAB in Oswego County right now, we need to continue monitoring our tree populations to ensure their health and longevity,” said Joseph Chairvolotti, district forester for the Oswego County Soil and Water Conservation District.
These beetles are most common in June and July and are spread primarily through the transportation of firewood.
“An EAB infestation would pose a significant threat to Oswego County’s pristine environment,” said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “It’s vitally important that property owners are aware of the signs and watch for emerald ash borer infestation in their woodlots. Firewood should not be transported more than 50 miles from its source, and campers should purchase firewood after they arrive at their destination, not transport it from their homes.”
The D-shaped exit holes left by adult beetles in the outer bark are one of the signs of infestation. Other clues include tree canopy decay, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk, the yellowing or browning of leaves, and woodpecker damage.
Anyone who suspects the presence of EAB should report it to the state DEC office by phone at 1-866-640-0652 or by .
Sending digital photos to this e-mail address is the easiest way for the state to evaluate the tree or site.
In 2002, the EAB was originally found in southeastern Michigan and has since spread to 13 states and two Canadian provinces; killing over 50 million ash trees in the United States.
The infestation in western New York is the state’s first reported case of EAB. So far, approximately 30 trees are infected or suspected to be infected.
New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets is working with staff from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to determine the extent of the infestation by studying trees in the surrounding area and increasing trapping efforts.
For more information about the EAB, visit the New York State DEC’s Web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html.
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