April 8, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State issues emergency quarantine on ash materials following emerald ash borer detection
Quarantine applies to ash materials originating in and transiting through Merrimack County
CONCORD, N.H. – The State of New Hampshire has issued an emergency quarantine on the movement of ash materials originating in or transiting through Merrimack County following the recent discovery of the emerald ash borer in the city of Concord. Officials from the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (DAMF) announced the quarantine at a press conference in Concord on Monday, April 8.
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills North American species of true ash (Fraxinus spp.). Tree death occurs three to five years following initial infestation.
The quarantine, which is effective immediately, is aimed at limiting the human-assisted spread of the insect in a way that impacts as few stakeholders as possible. Regulated articles subject to quarantine include
- all life stages of the emerald ash borer;
- hardwood firewood—split or unsplit—of less than four feet in length;
- all species of Fraxinus (ash): nursery stock, green lumber, logs, any other material living, dead, cut or fallen, including chips, stumps, branches, roots and debris;
- woodchips consisting in any part of Fraxinus (ash) chips, and
- any article, product or means of conveyance not listed above if an inspector determines that it presents a risk of spreading emerald ash borer.
Materials under quarantine may be moved within Merrimack County but are prohibited from being moved outside of Merrimack County unless there is a compliance agreement with DAMF for intrastate movement. Failure to comply with these regulations is considered a violation of the quarantine and could result in penalties.
Following a 30-day public comment period (ending May 8, 2013), revisions to the quarantine may be incorporated.
In addition to the quarantine, officials are taking other measures to increase awareness and limit the human-assisted spread of emerald ash borer in New Hampshire. DRED and the US Forest Service are working to determine the extent of the infestation. Cooperating state and federal agencies will hold public meetings in the coming weeks to inform stakeholders on what to look for and seek feedback on the quarantine. Officials are asking New Hampshire citizens to familiarize themselves with the signs and symptoms of emerald ash borer infestation at http://www.nhbugs.org and keep an eye out for the beetle.
Brad Simpkins, interim director and state forester with DRED’s Division of Forests and Lands, said, “We are redirecting all available resources within the division to deal with this priority issue. We are very concerned about the potential long-term impact of this damaging insect to our trees and forests.”
Ash makes up about six percent of New Hampshire’s northern hardwood forests, and it’s a common landscape tree.
To date, established populations of emerald ash borer have been detected in 19 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The detection in Concord is the first for New Hampshire and is the easternmost detection in North America. Possible signs of the beetle on a Concord tree were reported on March 27. On March 29, insect specimens were collected from the tree and sent to scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ), who confirmed the insect’s identity.
Emerald ash borer is native to Southeast Asia. It was first detected in North America in the Detroit, Michigan, area in 2002. The New Hampshire detection of emerald ash borer is unwelcome but not unexpected.
“We have been monitoring the emerald ash borer’s eastward march and preparing for its arrival here,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Lorraine Merrill. The state began implementing its emerald ash borer action plan when the beetle was detected.
The State of New Hampshire implemented a firewood quarantine in 2011 to help prevent the arrival of EAB and other damaging insects by prohibiting uncertified firewood from entering the state. The firewood quarantine remains in effect.
To learn about the signs and symptoms associated with emerald ash borer infestation, visit www.nhbugs.org or call the UNH Cooperative Extension Forestry Information Center hotline at 1-800-444-8978.
To report a suspect ash tree, go to http://nhbugs.org/invasive-insect-reporting-form or call the forestry hotline.
For help identifying ash trees, visit http://bit.ly/14WwmzY.
Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner, Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food, press conference prepared remarks, April 8, 2013
Piera Siegert, Director, State Entomologist, Division of Plant Industry, Dept. of Agriculture, Markets & Food, press conference prepared remarks, April 8, 2013
Brad Simpkins, Interim Director and State Forester, Division of Forests and Lands, Dept. of Resources and Economic Development, press conference prepared remarks, April 8, 2013