REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently expanded the state’s Emerald Ash Borer quarantine to include the Lake Erie islands and all of Cuyahoga, Seneca and Warren counties.
Officials expanded the quarantine to halt the movement of ash tree material and all hardwood firewood out of areas where the ash tree-killing insect was recently discovered.
Affected areas. Department officials, while examining detection trees across the state, discovered infested ash trees on Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, Thompson Township in Seneca County, near the intersection of Interstates 75 and 73 in Warren County, and near the intersection of I-71 and I-480 in the Cleveland area.
As a result, Erie, Cuyahoga, Seneca, Ottawa and Warren counties are now entirely quarantined to stop the continued spread of the pest through potentially infested materials.
It is illegal to move ash trees, parts of an ash tree, and all hardwood firewood out of quarantined areas.
“We’ve just started to examine our 10,000 detection trees across the state to better gauge the extent of this devastating pest in Ohio,” said Agriculture Director Fred L. Dailey.
“Detection is the first step in responding to this insect through quarantines to limit its spread. The Emerald Ash Borer has moved to these areas with our help, and now we need to step up to the plate to help slow its spread and protect our ash trees by not moving firewood.”
Currently, department officials are inspecting statewide detection trees – ash trees that have been stressed by removing a ring of bark – to look for Emerald Ash Borer populations resulting from the movement of firewood or ash tree materials.
The survey should be completed around the beginning of next year. At that point, the statewide picture will be assessed to see if any limited, targeted tree cutting may be used to help slow the spread of the pest.
In the meantime, newly discovered areas of infestation will be quarantined to stop the artificial spread of Emerald Ash Borer through ash tree materials and firewood.
Consequences. Citizens can freely move hardwood firewood and ash trees within quarantined counties and contiguously quarantined areas, but cannot take these potentially infested materials out. Violators face fines up to $4,000.
Firewood dealers, businesses, or woodlot owners interested in marketing and transporting ash trees or firewood out of quarantined areas can do so only with a department-approved compliance agreement.
These agreements stipulate handling practices that mitigate the spread of Emerald Ash Borer.
Since it was first discovered in Ohio in 2003, EAB has been identified in 21 counties: Auglaize, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Defiance, Erie, Franklin, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lorain, Lucas, Marion, Miami, Sandusky, Seneca, Ottawa, Warren, Williams, Wood and Wyandot.
All or parts of these counties have been quarantined to stop the movement of firewood and ash logs, which are the largest contributors to the spread.
About the pest. Ash trees infested typically die within five years. The pest belongs to a group of metallic wood-boring beetles.
Info. For more information on Emerald Ash Borer or for the latest quarantine map, go to www.ohioagriculture.gov/eab or call 1-888-OHIO-EAB.
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