Emerald ash borer found in Ozaukee County
MONDAY, Aug. 4, 2008, 1:56 p.m.
By Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Newburg – Emerald ash borer, the destructive green metallic beetle that has killed tens of millions of trees since 2002 in the eastern United States, has been discovered on a private woodlot near the village of Newburg in Ozaukee County, officials said this afternoon.
“We expected to find EAB in Wisconsin sooner or later, but this is still disappointing,” said Rod Nilsestuen, secretary of the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
Wisconsin is home to 725 million ash trees, including 5 million in the state’s urban areas.
Officials said they did not expect to take drastic action against the insect.
Earlier, a national scientific panel had recommended that all ash trees within a half-mile from an outbreak had to be cut.
But with advances in pesticides and the more that has been learned about the insect, federal and state officials are taking a much less aggressive approach.
Finding the invasive pest wasn’t a surprise, since the state pest experts have been looking for it since 2004.
Since it was first found in suburban Detroit in 2002, emerald ash borer has killed more than 40 million ash trees in southeastern Michigan and tens of millions more in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia.
Quarantines are in place in Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia to prevent the spread of infested trees, logs or firewood.
In Wisconsin, the DNR says that firewood can be brought onto state properties only if it came from within 50 miles from the property or from a vendor certified by the Agriculture Department.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the cost of the disease to municipalities, property owners, nurseries and the forest product industry at tens of millions of dollars.
Emerald ash borer was found in June 2006 in suburban Chicago as part of its inexorable march from its initial infestation near Detroit. To date, outbreaks have been found in nine states and two Canadian provinces.
In Wisconsin, 3,500 purple traps were placed in trees in southeastern Wisconsin and other locations.
The Agriculture Department also has cut and stripped 1,729 and trees since 2006 for evidence of the serpentine pattern of larvae in the tissue of the tree. Hundreds of trees in metropolitan Milwaukee were also tested. Work wrapped up for the year this spring and no infected trees were found.
A few years ago, officials said there was little that could be done to prevent damage from the bugs. But since then officials have reported promising results of several pesticides.
They include a pesticide marketed under the trade name Safari 20 SG. It is sprayed on the trunks of trees. Also another chemical known as Tree-age that is injected into the base of a tree.
Both pesticides must be applied by licensed applicators.
The federal government spent about $130 million between 2003 and 2007 to combat the disease.
Emerald ash borers attack ash trees under the bark, inhibiting the flow of nutrients and eventually killing the trees.