NEBRASKAland June 2016

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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By Julie Van Meter State Entomologist, Nebraska Department of Agriculture Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an exotic, invasive insect, originally from Asia, which feeds on ash trees (Fraxinus sps.) The Nebraska Forest Service estimates Nebraska is home to more than 40 million ash trees. How many ash trees are in your yard, along your street, or in your favorite campground? Each of these ash trees is at risk of infestation by EAB. EAB has not yet been found in Nebraska, but has been confirmed in 25 states since its discovery in the U.S. in 2002. Several surrounding states are infested with EAB, including Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Firewood is the primary means by which this pest spreads; the beetles emerge from cut firewood to infest new trees. The federal EAB quarantine requires that all hardwood firewood, both commercial firewood and firewood for personal use, be officially certified before it leaves an EAB infested area. EAB is a 1 ⁄3- to ½-inch long, metallic green beetle. EAB larvae are legless and creamy white and up to 1¼ inches in length, with distinctive, bell-shaped body segments. Larvae feed under the bark, damaging the phloem of the tree and creating S-shaped galleries. This damage prevents the movement of water and nutrients throughout the tree, and eventually the tree dies. All ash trees, regardless of the age, size or health can be attacked by EAB. Symptoms of an EAB infestation includes branch or crown die-back, bark splitting, suckering, and woodpecker damage. Signs include 1 ⁄8- inch D-shaped exit holes and S-shaped larval galleries. A number of native insects also infest ash trees, including ash-lilac borer, red- headed ash borer, and the eastern ash bark beetle. These insects typically target stressed or declining ash trees, and produce round exit holes of varying size. Several insects also have green coloring similar to EAB, including dog-bane beetles, the poplar flatheaded borer, and even some metallic bees, or share a similar body size and shape, like the bronze birch borer. None of us want to be responsible for bringing EAB, or any other invasive plant pest, to Nebraska. Minimize the risk by leaving your firewood at home and purchasing locally harvested firewood at your destination. Don't bring firewood back home with you, either. Leave it for the next camper. If you think you've found an EAB infested tree, contact your local extension office, the Nebraska Forest Service, or the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at (402) 471-2351. ■ Bug Banter Presented by JUNE 2016 • NEBRASKAland 19 Emerald Ash Borer and Firewood tree quaran rer

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