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Quarantine considered to slow movement of Emerald Ash Borer

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The Emerald Ash Borer is popping up around the Quad City area, and has been identified in Cedar County.

According to a spokesperson from the Iowa Department of Agriculture, the Emerald Ash Borer was found in a tree of a Mechanicsville resident. As of October 3, 2013, Cedar County is the fourth location where the invasive insect has been found in Iowa.

Officials are considering a “quarantine,” or a restriction on moving firewood, logs and woodchips out of the county. The regional quarantine would be a regulated action designed to slow the movement of the insect to help protect ash trees.

According to the department, most EAB infestations are started after people unknowingly moved infested firewood, nursery plants, or logs. State Entomologist, Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture is urging Iowans to not transport firewood around the country or across state lines.

The investigation was prompted after the Mechanicsville resident contacted officials to report a decline in ash trees. The Iowa EAB Team found larvae in several trees in the reported area.

“I think we’re seeing the culmination of an EAB population that is finally large enough to detect, coupled with trees readily showing symptoms because of multiple stresses, including EAB, drought and floods occurring in recent years,” Pruisner.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture reported that Des Moines County was declared infested in July 2013, Jefferson County was in August 2013, and Allamakee County was declared in 2010.

EAB was found in Jo Daviess and Whiteside counties earlier in the summer.  The Whiteside County discovery came less than a week after EAB was found in Burlington.

An Iowa Department of Natural Resources official says most, if not all, of the ash trees in Burlington, Iowa will die from emerald ash borer in the next five to seven years and the infestation will spread across the state.

Firewood was quarantined there in July 2013.  Scott County banned firewood from outside counties in and effort to try to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer.

The Emerald Ash Borer is considered to be one of the most destructive tree pests in North America. For information on other known tree pests – click here.