Emerald ash borer confirmed in Johnson County

State expands quarantine zone to prevent further spread in Kansas

Only one county is between Osage County and the emerald ash borer (EAB), since the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the ash tree destroyer is now in Johnson County, Kan. The invasive bug has killed more than a million ash trees in 20 states since it was first discovered in Michigan in 2002.

An adult specimen was removed from an EAB survey trap located near the Johnson County landfill on July 5, 2013, during routine monitoring by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA-APHIS-PPQ). Regulatory officials with USDA-APHIS-PPQ confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer on July 11, 2013.

Emerald ash borer is a metallic green in color and about 1/2 inch long.

Emerald ash borer is a metallic green beetle about 1/2 inch long.

The EAB survey in Kansas is a cooperative effort between USDA and the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA). USDA and KDA began setting traps in March and more than 440 traps are in place across Kansas.

“In Kansas, we have worked for years on emerald ash borer prevention and surveillance efforts,” said Jeff Vogel, KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program manager. “These vigilant surveillance efforts allowed us to catch the pest early. We are immediately implementing an emergency intrastate quarantine for Johnson County in order to stop further spread of EAB in Kansas.”

Johnson County abuts Douglas County which abuts Osage County in its northeast corner.

Emerald ash borer, which is a pest of ash trees that is native to Asia, was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Mich., in summer 2002. Since that time, the pest has killed millions of ash trees in Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Immediately after confirmation by USDA, Kansas enacted an emergency intrastate quarantine for Johnson County, similar to the permanent quarantine currently in place in Wyandotte County, to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer in Kansas. The quarantine applies to any corporation, company, society, association, partnership, governmental agency, and any individual or combination of individuals. It prohibits movement of regulated items from the quarantined area, except under specific conditions established in the quarantine order.

Regulated items under quarantine include the following:

  • The emerald ash borer, (Agrilus planipennis [Coleoptera: Buprestidae]), in any living stage of development;
  • Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species;
  • Nursery stock of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Green lumber of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
  • Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that an inspector determines presents a risk of spreading emerald ash borer and notifies the person in possession of the article, product, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the restrictions of the regulations.

Prevention is key to limiting new infestations, Vogel said. KDA is working with stakeholders to assure they understand how to properly treat or dispose of emerald ash borer-infested ash trees and materials to reduce the impacts this pest has on the state. Vogel said the quarantine requires all ash trees and materials in Johnson County to be treated or disposed of properly prior to leaving the quarantined area.

All ash trees are susceptible to infestation by the emerald ash borer. Trees become infested when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark. The eggs hatch into larvae that bore into the tree. They tunnel between the bark and wood and disrupt water and nutrient movement, eventually killing the tree. Emerald ash borer appears to prefer trees under stress but is capable of killing perfectly healthy trees.

Adult emerald ash borers are about one-half inch long and they emerge in late spring. The larvae feed just under the bark of a tree, which damages and eventually kills the tree. Trees infested with emerald ash borer will have canopy dieback, water sprouts, bark splitting, serpentine-like galleries and D-shaped exit holes.

Vogel said if Kansans think any of their trees may have the pest, they should notify KDA immediately at (785) 862-2180 or at [email protected].

Vogel said that all Kansans will play an important role in monitoring for emerald ash borer. In cooperation with USDA-APHIS-PPQ, the Kansas Forest Service and K-State Research and Extension, KDA plans to host town hall meetings with Kansans as well as industry and local government stakeholder meetings to provide information about emerald ash borer and to ensure that all necessary facilities and individuals are equipped to treat and dispose of emerald ash borer infested material properly to prevent further spread of the pest.

To learn the most current information on the quarantine and meeting schedule, visit http://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/plant-protect-weed-control/emerald-ash-borer/. To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.info.

Photos thanks to www.emeraldashborer.info.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas