Devastating tree pest found in Cedar County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Devastating tree pest found in Cedar County

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

A pest considered one of the most destructive tree pests in North America has now been found in Cedar County.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says the Emerald Ash Borer, which kills all ash species, has been found in a tree in Mechanicsville, the fourth location the beetle has been located. Officials declared Allamakee County infested in May 2010, Des Moines County in July 2013 and Jefferson County in August 2013.

Officials are now considering a regionalized quarantine to slow the spread of EAB by humans. This quarantine would restrict the movement of hardwood firewood, ash logs and wood chips out of the quarantined counties.

“I think we’re seeing the culmination of an EAB population that is finally large enough to detect, coupled with trees readily showing symptoms because of multiple stresses, including EAB, drought and floods occurring in recent years,” State Entomologist Robin Pruisner of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said in a written statement.

All Iowans are cautioned to not move firewood across county or state lines because that poses the greatest threat, though the adult beetle can fly up to five miles.

“Preventive treatments next spring — mid-April to mid-May 2014 — are available to protect vigorously healthy and valuable ash trees within 15 miles of the known infested area,” ISU Extension and Outreach Entomologist Mark Shour said in a written statement. For more details, see ISU Extension and Outreach publication PM2084, www.extension.iastate.edu/Publications/PM2084.pdf.

There are an estimated 55.1 million ash trees in Iowa.

To learn more about EAB and other pests that threaten Iowa’s tree population, visit www.IowaTreePests.com.

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