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State warns public about ash borer

    FINGER LAKES—The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is warning people about the dangers of the emerald ash borer.
    The emerald ash borer, first discovered in New York in 2009, is an invasive insect that kills all types of ash trees. Seven counties in Western New York and five in the Hudson Valley currently have infestations and state agencies are working to stop the movement of beetles out of these areas in firewood and other wood products. Tens of millions of ash trees have been killed in the United States by the emerald ash borer and the hundreds of millions of ash trees in New York are at risk.
    Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Awareness Week is May 20 to May 26. The state is educating residents about the invasive species and the destruction it causes to trees.
    “With Memorial Day marking the beginning of the camping season, it is important to remind those traveling in New York State to only use local firewood,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “By stopping the human transport of this insect and increasing early detection of new infestations, we can greatly reduce the economic and environmental damages this pest can cause.”
    As part of EAB Awareness Week, DEC, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and volunteers will post signs and tie ribbons on more than 6,000 ash trees along selected streets and in parks around the state that are populated with ash trees.
    To help slow the spread of EAB, citizens are asked to avoid moving firewood and to look for and report the signs of the beetle on ash trees. Citizens should be aware of New York State’s firewood regulations which restrict the movement of untreated firewood to 50 miles, and EAB quarantines, preventing the spread of potentially infested materials.
    In cooperation with the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), several partners are placing purple panel traps throughout the state to help find new infestations. These traps have been used for the past several years, and have been instrumental in identifying EAB infestations across the state.
    DEC is conducting surveys to find and cut infested trees and then chipping them to destroy the beetles inside. These crews are also preparing special trap trees in the infested areas so the beetles are enticed to stay nearby, where they can be easily destroyed next year. This technique dramatically reduces the rate of spread of the infestation and keeps it in a location where the trees with beetles in them can be identified.
    To report possible infestations, fill out the Emerald Ash Borer Survey Form here.




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