Emerald Ash Borer beetles have been found near Graceville in Bedford County, Pa., making it 12 Pennsylvania counties where the ash tree-destroying pest has been identified, according to the state's agriculture secretary Russell C. Redding.
In response to this latest discovery, Redding said a state-imposed quarantine is being expanded to include Bedford County. He reminded residents and visitors to use only locally harvested firewood, burn all of the firewood on-site and not move it to new locations.
The Bedford County infestation was discovered at the intersection of Tannery Road and Route 30 near Graceville, which is less than one mile east of Breezewood and less than one mile from the Fulton County line, after Department of Conservation and Natural Resources staff noticed extensive tree damage due to woodpeckers. Such damage often indicates that trees may be infected as the birds injure the trees while trying to eat the beetle larvae.
State and federal Emerald Ash Borer quarantines restrict the movement from the quarantine area of ash nursery stock, green lumber and any other ash material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, and all wood chips.
Because of the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood and wood chips - including ash, oak, maple and hickory - are considered quarantined.
The invasive beetle was first detected in Pennsylvania in summer 2007 in Butler County, and subsequently was found in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Mercer, Mifflin, Washington and Westmoreland counties.
Emerald Ash Borer is a wood-boring beetle native to China and eastern Asia. Typically, the beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide. There is no known practical control for this wood-boring pest other than destroying infested trees.
People who suspect they have seen Emerald Ash Borer should call the department's toll-free pest hotline at 866-253-7189. For information about the quarantine, contact Walt Blosser at 717-772-5205, and for information about Emerald Ash Borer, contact Sven-Erik Spichiger at 717-772-5229.
Additional information is also available at www.agriculture.state.pa.us.