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Emerald Ash Borer Update

August 2, 2007

Emerald ash borer has been positively identified in Glendale Heights, in north-central DuPage County. With the Fermilab infestation right on the western border of DuPage County, it was expected that the borer would be found soon in that county. However, this infestation is several miles from that location.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has drastically increased the size of the quarantined area in Illinois to 13 northeastern Illinois counties and portions of 5 adjacent counties. This change is based on a number of factors. One is the new finds of infestations in several areas of Kane, northern Cook, DuPage, and LaSalle counties. Another factor is the handling of landscape waste.

In northeastern Illinois, garbage and landscape waste is commonly hauled a considerable distance. Initially, it is moved to transfer stations, where the material is likely to sit for at least several hours. From there, landscape waste is hauled to locations where it is chipped and composted. Garbage is typically hauled to landfills. Many of these transfer stations are located outside of previous quarantine boundaries. Many of the landfills and landscape waste locations are located outside of the metropolitan area. Both the transfer and landscape waste locations, as well as the routes to them, represent likely sites of emerald ash borer infestations.

Following is a map of the quarantine area.

The quarantine requires waste haulers to cover potentially infested wood products being hauled from an infested area from June through August, which covers the adult emerald ash borer flight season. It also prohibits the removal of the following items from regulated areas:

  • The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
  • Ash trees of any size.
  • Ash limbs and branches.
  • Any cut, nonconiferous firewood.
  • Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than 1 inch from ash trees.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer oneinch 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 Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.

    Anyone convicted of moving prohibited items from the quarantine area without prior certification by an Illinois Department of Agriculture nursery inspector may be fined up to $500.

    How the emerald ash borer arrived in Illinois is unknown, but at least some of the infestations appear that it may have been transported here in contaminated firewood. To avoid the accidental introduction of the beetle to new areas, it is encouraged that only locally grown nursery stock and locally cut firewood be purchased or used. (Phil Nixon and Illinois Department of Aqriculture)

Author: Phil Nixon


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