Emerald Ash Borer Found Here
Fulton County was among several counties in the commonwealth to be added to the list of areas under official quarantine last Thursday after the invasive beetle known as the emerald ash borer was detected not far from the Bedford County line.
The state Department of Agriculture reported on July 1 that the “tree-killing pest” was located in Centre, Fulton and Somerset counties, bringing the number of infected counties to 15 in the state. In Fulton County, the beetle was located in Valley-Hi Borough just off Route 30 and bordering the Buchanan State Forest.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) was first found in Pennsylvania in 2007 in Butler County, and has since been detected in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland counties, thereby posing a threat to the state’s hardwood industry.
“The Agriculture Department’s summer survey crews are diligently working to assess the spread of the beetle across the state,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding in the announcement. “... We urge all campers and travelers to help prevent the further spread of these pests by not hauling firewood from place to place.”
State as well as federal EAB quarantines mandate that the movement of ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material such as logs, stumps, roots and branches, from quarantine areas such as Fulton County is strictly prohibited. As a result of the difficulty in distinguishing between various species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood and wood chips – including ash, oak, maple and hickory – are considered quarantined now.
Just three weeks ago, the
News” reported EAB feed exclusively on ash trees ranging in variety from green, white and black to blue and pumpkin. Ash trees comprise 3.6 percent of forestland in Pennsylvania or 300 million trees statewide.
Trees affected by EAB lack bark and exhibit galleries or Sshaped grooves created by feeding larvae. To aid in detection, purple prism traps were hung from trees in high traffic areas in the Sideling Hill area of Fulton County by the Department of Agriculture. The traps are baited internally with Manuka oil lure, while the exterior is covered with glue to help catch the adults attracted to the lure.
To help slow the spread of EAB, the Department of Agriculture encourages residents to buy and burn locally cut firewood, immediately burn any wood transported from other areas and do not move firewood further than 50 miles.
Residents who believe they may have found EAB are asked to call the department’s toll-free pest hotline at 1-866-253-7189. Information regarding the quarantine can be directed to Walt Blosser at 717-772-5205, while Sven-Erik Spichiger can be contacted at 717- 772-5229 concerning additional EAB information.