In an effort to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer (EAB), the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), is adding three more counties to an existing quarantine on ash tree products. Otoe, Lancaster and Saunders join the counties of Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Washington and Dodge, for a total of eight Nebraska counties regulated under the Nebraska EAB Quarantine. The revisions to the quarantine went into effect Nov. 1.
“While we can’t completely eliminate EAB, quarantines can help slow the spread of this destructive insect into non-infested areas,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “That gives homeowners and municipalities across the state additional time to consider their options and make decisions about the future of their ash trees.”
The additional quarantines come after EAB was discovered in a tree in Lincoln and after a tree exhibiting signs and symptoms of EAB was discovered in Fremont in August. EAB is an invasive metallic-green beetle that attacks ash trees by disrupting the flow of water and nutrients causing the tree to die. The insect was first discovered in Nebraska in June, 2016.
The quarantine order prohibits distribution of ash nursery stock from within or out of the quarantine area, and regulates the movement of hardwood firewood and mulch, ash timber products and green waste material out of quarantined areas. NDA staff, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, work with the public and impacted industries to ensure compliance of the quarantines.
Each summer, NDA and USDA staff set and monitor EAB traps across the state to look for additional infestations. They also monitor and inspect trees, nursery stock and firewood checking for EAB.
The Nebraska EAB Working Group, which includes NDA, USDA, Nebraska Game and Parks, and the Nebraska Forest Service encourage the use of locally-sourced firewood. EAB can easily travel in firewood, so burning it in the same county where it is purchased or purchasing heat-treated firewood is recommended.
If you feel you have located an EAB infestation, please report it to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture at (402) 471-2351, the Nebraska Forest Service at (402) 472-2944, or your local USDA office at (402) 434-2345.