Expansion of the emerald ash borer quarantine necessary to stop problem

REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — Ohio’s emerald ash borer quarantine was expanded Jan. 14 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture to include 14 additional counties.

Slow down

The quarantine helps slow the spread of the ash tree-killing insect to uninfested parts of the state by prohibiting the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash tree materials.

While the invasive pest has not been detected in the following 14 counties, the department issues this quarantine to make the movement of ash trees, parts of ash trees and all hardwood firewood more practical among counties that are adjacent to previously quarantined areas.

Counties added

The following counties are now on the quarantine list: Adams, Ashtabula, Brown, Clinton, Coshocton, Fayette, Geauga, Highland, Holmes, Knox, Lake, Madison, Ross and Trumbull.

Since emerald ash borer was first discovered in Ohio in 2003, the department has placed 67 counties under quarantine.

The quarantine makes it illegal to transport ash trees, parts of ash trees and all hardwood firewood from any quarantined county into or through a county without a compliance agreement from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Punishable with fines

Violation of this quarantine could result in fines up to $4,000. A federal quarantine makes it illegal to take these items out of the state of Ohio. Firewood dealers, businesses or woodlot owners interested in marketing and transporting ash trees or firewood from quarantined areas can do so only with a department-approved compliance agreement.

These agreements define handling practices that reduce the artificial spread of emerald ash borer.

Death likely

Ash trees infested with emerald ash borer typically die within five years. The pest belongs to a group of metallic wood-boring beetles.

Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length, one-eighth inch wide, and fly from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees and leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide when they emerge as adults.

Confirmation needed

Suspected emerald ash borer adults and larva can be confirmed by sending the suspected specimen(s) to the Ohio Department of Agriculture for identification using the form located on the department’s Web site.

For information on the emerald ash borer, maps, compliance agreements, firewood restrictions and quarantine updates, visit www.agri.ohio.gov or call 888-OHIO-Emerald Ash Borer.

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