SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the emerald ash borer has spread to the point that a nearly 10-year-old ban on in-state transportation of firewood is no longer justified.
The destructive beetle, first detected in Kane County in 2006, is now found in 60 of Illinois’ 102 counties.
“There’s a point where it’s too widespread and the quarantine just doesn’t make sense anymore,” Agriculture Department plant and pesticide specialist Scott Schirmer said Wednesday.
The beetle’s larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, starving and killing the trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, and D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Efforts were made in 2006 to eradicate the beetle by cutting trees before quarantine efforts began in 2007 to try to minimize the spread.
Despite the change in state policy, ash tree owners are encouraged to manage their trees and apply insecticide treatments as a preventive measure, Schirmer said.
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Illinois Drops Firewood Restrictions, Lifting Ash Borer QuarantineThe Illinois Department of Agriculture says the emerald ash borer has spread to the point that a nearly 10-year-old ban on in-state transportation of firewood is no longer justified.
Experts Urge Focus On Diversity When Replacing Trees Lost To Ash BorerThe emerald ash borer has done a lot of damage in the Chicago area. Approximately 13 million trees have been removed due to infestations of the notorious beetle.