Kansas implements quarantine zone to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that emerald ash borer is now in Kansas.
The first-ever presence of emerald ash borer in Kansas was confirmed in Wyandotte County on Aug. 29. The discovery was made by Kansas Department of Agriculture and USDA staff during a survey being conducted as a result of the July 2012 confirmation of emerald ash borer in Platte County, Mo. The staff identified a tree during the visual survey that showed symptoms of the emerald ash borer. They removed a portion of the tree and sent it to a USDA lab in Michigan for further analysis. Regulatory officials at USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Plant Protection and Quarantine division removed a live insect from the sample and confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer on Aug. 29.
"In Kansas, we have worked for years on emerald ash borer prevention and surveillance efforts. These vigilant surveillance efforts allowed us to catch the pest early," said Jeff Vogel, KDA Plant Protection and Weed Control program manager. "We are making additional plans right now for increased surveillance efforts to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer."
Emerald ash borer, which is a pest of ash trees that is native to Asia, was first discovered in North America near Detroit, Mich., in summer 2002. Since that time, the pest has killed millions of ash trees in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Minnesota, Kentucky, New York, Iowa, Tennessee and Connecticut. Financially, the United States risks an economic loss of $20 billion to $60 billion because of this pest.
Immediately after confirmation by USDA, Kansas implemented an emergency intrastate quarantine for Wyandotte County to prevent further spread of emerald ash borer in Kansas. The quarantine applies to any corporation, company, society, association, partnership, governmental agency, and any individual or combination of individuals. It prohibits movement of regulated items from the quarantined area, except under specific conditions established in the quarantine order.
Regulated items under quarantine include the following:
--The emerald ash borer, (Agrilus planipennis), in any living stage of development;
--Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species;
--Nursery stock of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
--Green lumber of the genus Fraxinus (Ash);
--Other material living, dead, cut, or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and uncomposted chips of the genus Fraxinus (Ash); and
--Any other article, product, or means of conveyance that an inspector determines presents a risk of spreading emerald ash borer and notifies the person in possession of the article, product, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the restrictions of the regulations.
The quarantine, effective as of Aug. 29, will remain in effect for a period of 90 days or until rescinded or modified by order of Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman.
Prevention is key to limiting new infestations, Vogel said. KDA is working with stakeholders to assure they understand how to properly treat or dispose of emerald ash borer-infested ash trees and materials to reduce the impacts this pest has on the state. Vogel said the quarantine requires all ash trees and materials in Wyandotte County to be treated or disposed of properly.
All ash trees are susceptible to infestation by the emerald ash borer. Trees become infested when adult beetles lay eggs on the bark. The eggs hatch into larvae that bore into the tree. They tunnel between the bark and wood and disrupt water and nutrient movement, eventually killing the tree. Emerald ash borer appears to prefer trees under stress but is capable of killing perfectly healthy trees.
Adult emerald ash borers are about one-half inch long and they emerge in late spring. The larvae feed just under the bark of a tree, which damages and eventually kills the tree. Trees infested with emerald ash borer will have canopy dieback, water sprouts, bark splitting, serpentine-like galleries and D-shaped exit holes.
Vogel said if Kansans think any of their trees may have the pest, they should notify KDA immediately at 785-862-2180 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vogel said that all Kansans will play an important role in monitoring for emerald ash borer. In cooperation with USDA-APHIS-PPQ, the Kansas Forest Service and K-State Research and Extension, KDA plans to host town hall meetings with Kansans as well as industry and local government stakeholder meetings to provide information about emerald ash borer and to ensure that all necessary facilities and individuals are equipped to treat and dispose of emerald ash borer infested material properly to prevent further spread of the pest.
To learn the most current information on the quarantine and meeting schedule, visit www.ksda.gov/plant_protection/content/379. To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.info.