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NEWS RELEASE

 

New Emerald Ash Borer Quarantines Cover Seven Southwest Wisconsin Counties

 

Release Date: 7/18/14 Contact: Donna Gilson, 608-224-5130 donna.gilson@wi.gov Jim Dick, Communications Director, 608-224-5020 jim.dick@wi.gov

MADISON ¡V Seven new southwestern Wisconsin counties will be added to Wisconsin¡¦s emerald ash borer quarantine list. EAB has been confirmed in three of the counties and is likely present in the other four, state plant pest authorities said.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will quarantine Columbia, Grant and Monroe counties after finding the destructive pest there. Richland, Iowa, Lafayette and Green counties will also be quarantined, because they are now surrounded by counties where EAB has been confirmed.

 

¡§Because of the proximity to EAB populations in neighboring counties, and the historic patterns of movement of goods that are regulated under quarantines, we are taking the precautionary measure of quarantining these four counties,¡¨ said Brian Kuhn, director of the departments¡¦ Bureau of Plant Industry. ¡§Low-level EAB infestations often go undetected, so there is a high likelihood that EAB is already there. From the way EAB has spread in the neighboring counties, we know that even if EAB is not there already, it will be before long.¡¨

 

The ash-destroying insect was confirmed in these locations:

 

Columbia County ¡V On the southern edge of Wildenburg Sand Prairie Park in the Town of Lodi, along County Road V.

 

Grant County ¡V At Nelson Dewey State Park in the Town of Cassville, along the road to an overlook and picnic area, and in Stonefield Historic Village.

 

Monroe County ¡V In the village of Oakdale at the interchange of Interstate 90/94 and County Road PP.

 

The quarantines will apply to the entire counties. Quarantines prohibit ash wood products and hardwood firewood from being moved out of the county to areas that are not quarantined. For businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB, this means that they must work with DATCP to assure that their products are pest-free before shipping to non-quarantine counties. For private citizens, a quarantine means that neither residents nor tourists may take firewood from these counties to non-quarantine counties.

 

¡§Quarantining the extra four counties where we have not yet confirmed EAB actually reduces the regulatory burden on the forest products industry and citizens across the region, because it allows movement of ash materials and firewood across contiguous counties within the quarantine area,¡¨ Kuhn said. ¡§However, even though it is not illegal to move firewood and ash products within the quarantined area, it is still a bad idea and we would discourage it. You could be introducing EAB and other pests to new areas in those counties that might otherwise remain uninfested for several years.¡¨

The quarantine will be put in place temporarily by a Wisconsin emergency rule, until the U.S. Department of Agriculture completes the process to enact a federal quarantine.

 

DATCP recommends that property owners who have ash trees in quarantine counties:

„h Keep a close watch for possible signs of EAB infestation: Thinning canopy, D-shaped holes in the bark, cracked bark, branches sprouting low on the trunk, and woodpeckers pulling at bark. „h Consider preventive treatments if your property is within 15 miles of a known infestation.

„h Consider planting different species of trees that are not susceptible to EAB.

„h Call a professional arborist, and visit emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information.

 

Emerald ash borer is native to China and probably entered the United States on packing material, showing up first in Michigan about 10 years ago. It was first found in Wisconsin in 2008 in Washington County. Other quarantined Wisconsin counties are Brown, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Fond du Lac, Jefferson, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Rock, Sauk, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago.

EAB adults lay eggs on the bark of ash trees in mid- to late summer. When the eggs hatch a week or two later, the larvae burrow under the bark for the winter and feed, forming the characteristic S-shaped tunnels and destroying the tree's ability to take up nutrients and water. In summer, the adults emerge through D-shaped holes in the bark.

 

The Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer Program includes partners from the following agencies: DATCP; DNR; UW-Madison; UW-Extension; USDA Forest Service and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

 

For more DATCP news, find us on Facebook and Twitter.

The WI DNR boat launch located on Old Sauk Road (near STH 113/CTH V/Shamrock Road - just outside Okee) will be CLOSED July 14 - 28 for maintenance and repairs

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Photographs courtesy of Gary N-Ski who can be contacted at www.garynski.com

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