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This week kicks of a chance for homeowners and the public to help slow the spread of a devastating insect: the Emerald Ash Borer or EAB.
The governor of Indiana has declared May 17-23 Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.
The most important way the public can help is to avoid moving firewood from place to place, reports Purdue University’s agriculture extension office.
Since its discovery in North America near Detroit in 2004, emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Canada, leaving millions of dead ash trees and financial devastation in its wake, according to Purdue University emerald ash borer expert Jodie Ellis.
Ellis says past efforts have made a difference–and that the public’s cooperation is paying off.
“Many of the infestations we’re finding now are several years old and started before quarantines for EAB were in place,” she said.
With Memorial Day and the summer camping season around the corner, campers in particular should try to “buy all firewood locally and burn it fully,” says Ellis.
Contact your state Department of Natural resources to find out if there are any ash quarantines–and be sure to follow the instructions fully.
In 20 Indiana counties it is illegal to move all kinds of hardwood firewood outside the county without a compliance agreement from the Department of Natural Resources. In addition, all of Indiana is under a federal quarantine that restricts the movement of all hardwood firewood (not just ash) into any other state.
Purdue University reports that homeowners also can help slow the spread of EAB by inspecting their ash trees for signs of infestation. It says signs of infestation include dieback of leaves in the upper one-third of the tree’s branches, heavy woodpecker activity, D-shaped exit holes in the bark, S-shaped tunnels under the bark or water shoots up the tree’s trunk.