With the quarantine of ash trees in Arkansas, the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to millions of Oklahoma ash trees intensifies for southeastern Oklahoma, especially McCurtain and Le Flore counties. As the pest is literally next door, Oklahoma Forestry Services is asking Oklahomans to help prevent the infestation spread and be on the lookout and report any signs that the insect is in the state.
The Emerald Ash Borer is an Asian, invasive, wood-boring beetle, first detected in the United States in 2002 in Michigan. Since its detection, these beetles have moved to at least 20 other states and have killed tens of millions of ash trees, costing communities, property owners and industries millions of dollars. It is suspected to have accidentally arrived in the United States from Asia in wood packing material.
Help prevent the spread
New infestations are caused by people unknowingly moving infested ash to an uninfected area. The fastest means for moving Emerald Ash Borer to new areas is by transporting infested firewood to areas that don’t already have it. Oklahoma Forestry Services urges Oklahomans not to move firewood, but instead to buy it where they are going to burn it. Don’t take firewood to a campsite, and don’t bring firewood home. If someone has already transported firewood, they should burn it all completely.
If you have ash trees on your property
OFS recommends consulting with a professional forester or certified arborist to explore options for your ash trees, based on their condition, objectives for your property and the status of EAB in your area. The good news is that it’s possible to save your ash trees from the EAB invasion. There are professional and over-the-counter insecticides available to protect ash trees. However, insecticide treatments could be costly, and other options should be considered prior to treating your trees.Be on the lookout