The DEC has named this week Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.. and they’re asking residents to become familiar with this intrusive little bug so that they can keep better track of where this tree killer’s path of destruction may lead next… The emerald ash borer, first discovered in New York in 2009, is an invasive insect that kills all types of ash trees. Twenty-two counties in New York currently have infestations and state agencies are working diligently to stop the movement of beetles out of these areas in firewood and other wood products. Tens of millions of ash trees have been killed in the United States by the emerald ash borer and all of 900 million ash trees in New York are at risk
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation urging all New Yorkers to exercise environmental stewardship to protect trees from infestation that can be devastating to landscapes, habitats and forest product industries. State residents and visitors are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the emerald ash borer and the destruction it causes to trees.
With camping season quickly approaching, the DEC wants to remind travelers in New YorkState to use only local firewood. The spread of these insects, and other forest pests, have been dramatically increased through human transport.
There are 900 million ash trees in New York State.
As part of EAB Awareness Week, DEC, the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and volunteers will post signs and tie ribbons on more than 6,000 ash trees along select streets and in parks around the state that are populated with ash trees
. To help slow the spread of EAB, all citizens are asked not to move firewood and to look for and report the signs of the beetle on ash trees. Citizens should be aware of New YorkState’s firewood regulations, which restrict the movement of untreated firewood to 50 miles, and EAB quarantines, which prevent the spread of potentially infested materials.
DEC is continuing to pursue and promote a strategy called Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) to slow the spread of EAB within the state and mitigate its devastating economic and environmental impacts. DEC’s SLAM strategy encompasses a variety of approaches including removing infested trees, defining and monitoring infestation boundaries more precisely, and researching insecticides and organisms that will kill the insect.
DEC Land and Forests staff will be placing approximately 700 purple panel traps in high risk locations located near densely populated areas throughout the state. These traps have been used for the past several years, and have been instrumental in identifying EAB infestations across the state.
In some areas, DEC forest health crews are also preparing special trap trees in the infested area so the beetles are enticed to stay nearby, where they can easily be destroyed next year. This technique dramatically reduces the rate of spread of the infestation and keeps it in a location where the trees with beetles in them can be identified.