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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

New Threat to New York Trees

Emerald ash borer found in western part of the state

Emerald ash borer was recently confirmed in ash trees near Randolph, NY according to the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets.

This introduced wood-boring beetle has the potential to cause severe economic and ecological damage in New York forests as it has been associated with 100% ash mortality near Detroit, MI where it was first found in 2002, said Dr. Melissa Fierke, Assistant Professor of Forest Entomology at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Dr. Fierke continued, The economic impacts will be tremendous in urban areas where green ash has been widely planted as street trees. Specialty industries that rely heavily on ash, such as baseball bat and tool handle manufacturers, ash furniture and horticulture, will be severely impacted by quarantine restrictions and the eventual complete loss of ash.

Ecological effects of emerald ash borer will be greatest in areas where ash is most abundant, such as along streams and rivers dominated by green ash and in black ash northern wetlands. Upland forests will also be affected as white ash can be an important component of these forests.

The long-distance spread of emerald ash borer has been primarily associated with movement of ash firewood. NYS DEC firewood regulations now in effect are especially critical to reduce or prevent spread within the state.Early detection of emerald ash borer is essential to control the spread and limit the impact.Trees cut for firewood or other uses should be inspected for signs of EAB and NYS DEC immediately notified if suspicious signs are present - see photos here: www.emeraldashborer.info/files/E-2938.pdf.

Dr. Fierke advised, Landowners should deliberately consider the extent of their need for action and their corresponding options - liquidating ash shouldn't be the first and only consideration under this new threat.

To view photos and get more information visit: www.esf.edu/extension/.