The Iowa Department of Agriculture reports that the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Iowa, in Allamakee County two miles south of the Minnesota border by the Mississippi River. It is the first confirmed sighting in Iowa. The insect, native to Asia, was first found in the United States near Detroit in 2002. It kills ash trees by larval burrowing under bark. Iowa has an estimated 88 million ash trees which grow wild and as landscape trees in yards. A quarantine prohibiting the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, and ash timber is pending by the Department of Agriculture, with a possible Federal quarantine following. Quarantines now exist for 11 midwestern and eastern states as well as Canada.
Steve Edwards, director of the Marion County Conservation Office tells KNIA/KRLS news that the EAB spreads mainly by campers bringing firewood from camp to camp as they travel. He suggests three rules that campers and those who burn firewood can use to slow the spread of the EAB. First, purchase firewood locally. Second, know where your firewood comes from. If it comes from a quarantined state, do not buy it to burn unless you are in that state. Third, burn your firewood where you buy it.
The US Forest Service estimates that Marion County has between one million and 2.5 million ash trees. For more information go to the DNR EAB information page here.
Originally posted 5/14/2010 12:37pm