Wayne County comes under quarantine for EAB
Wayne County is the latest to come under quarantine rules restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock and other ash materials after emerald ash borers were confirmed in a stand of trees on the Cherry Research Farm. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler signed an emergency quarantine order allowing the expansion.
An employee with the research farm noticed unusual markings on ash trees and contacted an entomologist with the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Plant Industry Division for confirmation of EAB. Ash trees were planted on about 13 acres in 2000 as part of a research project.
Granville, Person, Vance and Warren counties remain under quarantine from the first detection of emerald ash borer in the state in June 2013. North Carolina was the 20th state in the country to confirm the presence of the destructive pest.
“This discovery comes as our Plant Industry Division prepares to begin placing traps, readying for beetle emergence in April. Staff will be setting out traps statewide looking for signs of this pest in other locations,” Troxler said. “If you see the purple, triangle-shaped traps, please do not disturb them. We ask for the public’s cooperation with these quarantine rules to restrict the movement any further.”
The beetle was first detected in the United States in Michigan in 2002. It is responsible for the death or decline of tens of millions of ash trees across the country.
Under the state quarantine, all hardwood firewood and plants and plant parts of the ash tree--including living, dead, cut or fallen, green lumber, stumps, roots, branches and composted and uncomposted chips -- cannot be moved outside the county.
The Plant Industry and Research Stations divisions and N.C. Forest Service are working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Symptoms of emerald ash borer in ash trees include a general decline in the appearance of the tree, such as thinning from the top down and loss of leaves. Clumps of shoots, also known as epicormic sprouts, emerging from the trunk of the tree and increased woodpecker activity are other symptoms. The emerald ash borer is not the only pest that can cause these.
Emerald ash borers overwinter as larvae. The adult beetle is one-fourth to a half-inch long and is slender and metallic green. When the adults emerge from a tree, they leave behind a D-shaped exit hole. The larvae can also create serpentine tunneling marks, known as feeding galleries, which are found under the bark of the infested trees.
Home and landowners are encouraged to report any symptomatic activity in ash trees to the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division hotline at 1-800-206-9333 or by email at email@example.com. The pest can affect any of the four types of ash trees grown in the state.