Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 27, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer confirmed in Newton

Des Moines — Marion County Extension just shared this news release, confirming that the Emerald Ash Borer has been found in Newton. We plan to look into this further for a future article. 

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been positively identified in a residential tree in Newton in Jasper County from a larva sample collected on March 20, 2014. EAB kills all ash tree species and is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests ever seen in North America.

The EAB infestation in Newton was found by a citizen who reported suspect ash trees to City staff, who then contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forestry bureau. With the assistance of the Iowa EAB Team, a larva were found, and positively identified by federal identifiers as EAB.

A statewide quarantine restricting the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs, wood chips and ash tree nursery stock out of Iowa into non-quarantined areas of other states was issued on Feb. 4, 2014.

“I hope this latest EAB find is a wake-up call to landowners and communities in Iowa that there is no time to waste in preparing for this destructive beetle,” said State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. “The time is now to determine how many ash trees you have, what condition they’re in, and what you intend to do with those ash trees as EAB works its way across Iowa.”

The Iowa EAB Team provides EAB diagnostic assistance to landowners and includes officials from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Forest Service.

The Iowa EAB Team strongly cautions Iowans not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since the movement of firewood throughout Iowa or to other states poses the greatest threat to quickly spread EAB even further. Most EAB infestations in the United States have been started by people unknowingly moving infested firewood, nursery plants or sawmill logs. The adult beetle also can fly short distances, approximately 2 to 5 miles.

Contact Iowa EAB Team members to have suspicious looking trees checked. The State of Iowa will continue to track the movement of EAB on a county-by-county basis. Before a county can be officially recognized as infested, an EAB must be collected and verified by USDA entomologists. 

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