From the New York Department of Environmental Conservation
-- The recent discovery of an Emerald Ash Borer infestation (EAB) in Randolph, Cattaraugus County, is the first time the small destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species has been detected in the state of New York.
Emerald Ash Borers infest green, white, black and blue ash tree species.
New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the state, and all are at risk should this invasive, exotic pest become established.
This is just the latest in a series of terrestrial and aquatic invasive species detections across New York State, including the Asian Longhorned Beetle, Sirex woodwasp, didymo, zebra mussels, and Eurasian water milfoil. This has prompted the state to strengthen regulations, increase educational outreach, and encourage ways of limiting the unintentional spread of these potentially devastating pests throughout the state. The beetle also has been detected on either side of Lake Ontario.
The infestation was initially reported to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets on June 15by Rick Hoebeke, an entomolologist at Cornell University, after two U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service employees recognized damage to some local ash trees just off Exit 16 of State Route 17/I-86. After receiving the report and conducting an initial inspection, an
adult beetle from the infested area was submitted with the identification confirmed by the USDA's Systematic Entomology Laboratory at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
Photographs depicting the infestation will be posted to ftp://ftp.dec.state.ny.us/dpae/press/
Approximately 30 trees are infested or highly suspected of being infested to date.
Jonathan Staples of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said, “The detection of the Emerald Ash Borer will have a profound effect on the state’s landscape given the huge number of ash trees located throughout New York. Exotic invasive species such as this need to be closely monitored not only for its potential to spread naturally, but also, the potential for artificial spread through firewood movement and other regulated articles.”
Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB is responsible for the destruction of over 70 million ash trees in the U.S. The beetle has been moving steadily outward from its first discovered
infestation in Detroit, Michigan, and has now been found in 13 states and two neighboring Canadian provinces. The primary way this insect spreads is when firewood and wood products are moved from one place to another. Many of New York State’s forests and parklands, including Allegany State Park which is near the recent EAB finding, are high-risk areas because of firewood movement.
New York State has been actively surveying for EAB since 2003, inspecting declining ash trees and setting traps in Western and Eastern New York, Long Island and New York City. Until this discovery, no signs of EAB were ever detected in the state.
A cooperative effort among USDA and New York State staff will conduct a thorough survey of trees and deploy a more intensive trapping effort in the surrounding area to assess the extent and age of the infestation. Information from this survey will help determine the response strategy.
To keep EAB from spreading it is important to not bring firewood from home to a campground or park, but instead get it from a local vendor. If transporting firewood within the state of New York, it must have a receipt or label identifying the firewood source, and must remain within 50 miles of that source.
Residents are asked to watch for signs of infestation in ash trees. Visit the New York DEC website or call
1-866-640-0652 to report a suspected infestation.
More information on the Emerald Ash Boer is available at: