Lincoln, NE - The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) confirms that an emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle that attacks and kills all species of ash trees, has been found in a tree on private property in Greenwood, Nebraska (Cass County).
This is the second confirmed sighting in Nebraska of an infected tree.
NDA Director Greg Ibach said that the heightened sense of awareness about the EAB among people has increased the number of citizens calling the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Forest Service, and has led to additional finds of the beetle.
“We anticipate finding additional infested trees as homeowners begin to more readily recognize the signs and symptoms of EAB in their ash trees and report those symptoms,” Director Ibach said. “While the complete eradication of EAB is not an option, the quarantine will help to slow the human-assisted spread of the beetle; thus giving homeowners and municipalities additional time to consider their options and make decisions about the future of their ash trees.”
The larvae of the emerald ash borer tunnels under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die.
EAB infested ash trees will exhibit thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree, S-shaped larval galleries under bark, D-shaped exit holes and suckers (along the trunk and main branches).
Since last week, Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge counties have been under quarantine and continue to be quarantined. This quarantine prohibits ash nursery stock from leaving the quarantine area and regulates the movement of hardwood firewood and mulch, ash timber products and green waste material out of quarantined area to prevent the human-assisted spread of the pest into un-infested areas.
The Nebraska EAB working group offers the following suggestions to help prevent the human-assisted spread of the pest:
1. Use locally-sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where you purchased it. EAB uses firewood as a method of transportation.
2. Only high value ash tress located within 15 miles of a known infestation should be considered for treatment. Trees that are experiencing declining health should be considered for removal.
3. If you feel you have located an EAB infestation, please report it to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at (402) 471-2351, the Nebraska Forest Service at (402) 472-2944 or your local USDA office at (402) 434-2345.