SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Agriculture has added two, new counties to its existing 39-county emerald ash borer (EAB) quarantine.
The boundary expansion became necessary this fall after infestations of the tree-killing beetle were confirmed for the first time in Henry and Knox counties. The pest was discovered in Henry County at a park on the northwest side of Kewanee through the department’s EAB trapping program and in Knox County by alert grounds staff at Knox College in Galesburg.
The quarantine, which now covers 40 percent of the entire state, is intended to prevent the artificial or “human-assisted” spread of the beetle through the movement of infested wood and nursery stock. Specifically, it prohibits the movement of the following items from quarantined areas:
• The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
• Ash trees of any size.
• Ash limbs and branches.
• Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
• Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
• Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
• Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
• Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the IDOA to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.
The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed more than 25 million ash trees.
The beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
In addition to Henry and Knox, the EAB quarantine now includes Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Iroquois, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Shelby, Stark, Vermilion, Will, Winnebago and Woodford counties.
The full quarantine order and detailed information about the EAB program can be accessed on the internet at www.IllinoisEAB.com.