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Geneseo Republic - Geneseo, IL
The University of Illinois Tri-County Extension office
Blog: Summer travel increases ash borer risk
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By Farm and Extension News
The University of Illinois Tri-County Extension office covering Livingston, Woodford and McLean counties.
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By Julie Gaier, International Society of Arboriculture
Aug. 14, 2014 2 p.m.

As the summer tourism season gets underway, The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) cautions people about the possible spread of emerald ash borer (EAB) among the urban tree canopy in cities and forests across the U.S.

Considered the “Green Menace”, experts say EAB is now in 21 states and has also been detected in Canada. The beetle is native to Asia and strikes North American Ash trees. Scientists say those ash trees destroyed by EAB create a damaging effect on the eco-system and can even impact homeowner property values. Already, EAB destruction has cost municipalities, property owners, and the green industry tens of millions of dollars.

“As people travel and make trip plans for the summer, the chances escalate for EAB movement to unaffected areas, especially when people transport firewood,” says Jim Skiera, ISA Executive Director. “Woodlot management, planting trees that are resistant to EAB and hiring an ISA Certified Arborist to protect trees with proper care and maintenance are all ways to prevent infestation.”

To stop the spread of EAB, ISA recommends the following:

• Don’t move firewood – Obey quarantines on wood transportation if prohibited where you live. Be sure to buy firewood near your camp site or from a firewood vendor who is certified.

• Recognize the signs of infestation – Did you know the EAB is green, skinny and about as long as a penny? Improve your knowledge about this insect and find state hotlines to report a problem. Visit ISA’s redesigned and updated consumer website, www.treesaregood.org, for more on EAB and how to stop the beetle.

• Pre-treatment programs – There are ways to protect ash trees before they become infected with EAB. Consult an ISA Certified Arborist to inspect ash trees on your property and suggest proactive measures for curbing tree infestation.

ISA Certified Arborists are trained to provide the best advice for overall proper tree care. To find an arborist, check out ISA’s search tool at www.treesaregood.org.

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