Issue 4, May 14, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer was found in three new counties from last fall into this spring. These include rural Farmer City in DeWitt County in September, in Fairbury and at the rest area near Pontiac in Livingston County in February, and in northern Decatur in Macon County in April. The Decatur location is near rail lines. Emerald ash borer adults have emerged throughout the state.

There have been numerous questions and concerns about the interpretation of insecticide label information associated with emerald ash borer. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture published the fact sheet "Emerald Ash Borer Insecticides: Label Guidance for Use Limits" in February 2012. Following are some of the highlights of that publication, along with my own suggestions. These are not to be interpreted as being what can be done legally in Illinois, but they provide reasonable guidelines.

One concern is what is included in acreage when determining whether the per-acre rate of imidacloprid or other pesticides has been reached. The intent of the law in the case of pesticide application refers to acreage over which the applicator or client has control. It should not include a neighbor's property because that would remove the neighbor's right to apply the same pesticide to his property. The acreage includes paved areas, buildings, and bodies of water within the boundaries of the treated area. Do not include large areas of property beyond where the trees are growing.

Right-of-Way areas include street areas if applied by or for the municipality. In these cases, the shape of the acreage is long and narrow and includes the street, sidewalks, and adjacent right-of-way areas owned by the municipality. It includes both the street areas and homeowner property if the homeowner is applying the pesticide or having the pesticide applied through an agreement with the municipality. However, in this case only the street area abutting the homeowner's property to the middle of the street should be included. Any more area would infringe on the rights of the municipality or homeowners adjacent to or across the street from the homeowner treating the trees.

If the area is less than one acre, then the maximum amount applied should be same percentage of the acre rate as the acre percentage. (Phil Nixon)

Phil Nixon

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