Quarantine issued for firewood, lumber in DelCo

(Clarification by Oklahoma Forestry Services:  The only trees at risk for EAB are ash trees)

By Tony Downing • news@grovesun.com  Posted Nov 3, 2016 at 10:33 PM

Officials with the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture have issued a quarantine, prohibiting the movement of firewood of any hardwood species, as well as ash nursery stock and ash lumber from moving outside of the county lines.

The quarantine, issued on Friday, Oct. 28, comes after a monitoring trap near Grove, was found containing an emerald ash borer.

"Other monitoring traps are being evaluated across Delaware county but those results are not in yet," said Jeanetta Cooper, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF) nursery program administrator. "The quarantine was put in place to help prevent the further spread of this invasive species."

The emerald ash borer is an invasive wood-boring beetle that has killed hundreds of millions of North American ash trees across the United States and Canada.

This is the first official detection of the insect in Oklahoma. The detection was found on Oct. 13 by ODAFF officials. 

Residents within Delaware county and the surrounding areas are asked to remain vigilant.

ODAFF officials said a "wait-and-see approach" is needed regarding the invasion. USDA and ODAFF officials are working to determine the extent of the infestation within the state. Once initial work is done further information will be available for areas affected by the EAB.

In the meantime, ODAFF officials have asked residents follow quarantine guidelines to help stop the invasion of this invasive species.

Now that the emerald ash borer has been found within Oklahoma, ODAFF officials said the state's ash, elm and cottonwood species are at risk.

Approximately seven percent of Oklahoma's natural forests and nearly 10 percent of the urban tree population in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas are comprised of this wood mixture.

The Oklahoma emerald ash borer Action Plan was established in 2015 to address the threat the borer poses to the urban forest.

The plan provides direction as to how to handle this threat, and establishes a clear chain of command for technical aspects of the invasion. It also provides communication of management efforts to the general public.

In addition, the guide Oklahoma communities provides guidance to municipalities under threat from the borer. For general questions about EAB, please visit www.emeraldashborer.info for current information about its biology, life cycle, distribution, and control efforts.

For more information, or to report the presence of an emerald ash borer, persons interested may contact the Oklahoma Forestry Services at 405-522-6158. For more information and resources regarding emerald ash borer, visit www.forestry.ok.gov/eab.

About the Emerald Ash Borer

The quarantine limits the movement of ash wood out of Delaware county because the emerald ash borer lives under the bark and can be easily spread if infested wood is moved into other areas.

Here are EAB signs to look for:

· Adult EAB - Is a metallic emerald green color and about half-inch long. They are difficult to detect.

· Larva - It is a cream color and distinctly segmented. It is easy to spot by peeling back loose ash tree bark.

· S-shaped galleries – After the larvae have matured and exited the tree, distinct s-shaped galleries are left under the bark.

· D-shaped very small exit holes are left in the tree.

· Crown Decline – the top one third of the tree typically dies first, then progresses down the tree.

· Multiple Trees – Infestation may include a number of declining ash in the area.

· Woodpecker Holes – Woodpeckers love EAB larvae, so woodpecker holes might indicate EAB.