Emerald Ash Borer Spreading in Western Wisconsin Region

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) will win in Wisconsin like the Packers at Lambeau if ash trees are not properly protected. Be on alert! Emerald ash borer has spread to Trempealeau County, indicating the communities in Jackson County should prepare for the tree-killing, invasive beetle.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has added Trempealeau County to its 15-county quarantine as of September 2012.

Cindy Casey, an urban forestry coordinator with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, told the Jackson County Chronicle: “It’s virtually certain it exists beyond where we know that it exists, just because it takes several years for symptoms to develop. It’s not an ‘if’, it’s pretty much an eventuality. It’s when (it will arrive)-not if.”

How the Emerald Ash Borer Kills Trees

Emerald ash borer slowly destroys ash trees by infesting the layers that house their water and nutrients. It can be expensive to remove the dead trees.

The beetle has been found in La Crosse and Trempealeau Counties, and found in the southern part of Wisconsin a year ago. It’s traveled and appearing fast in Wisconsin. La Crosse and Trempealeau County are both quarantined, a measure that limits the transportation of hardwoods. The emerald ash borer – a small, metallic green beetle native to Asia – typically spreads through the long-distance travel of ash and other species of firewood.

Making Plans to Protect the Tree Canopy is Vital

Mick Skwarok, DATCP’s plant, pest and disease specialist told the  Jackson County Chronicle having a plan to mitigate the beetle’s impact to ash trees is important. “A lot of communities turn to ash because it’s a fast grower and provides nice shade and is pretty tolerant of urban environments. Now we’re looking at a situation where your neighborhood canopy could be gone. There’s a lot at stake. Communities will definitely feel the impact if and when it shows up.”

Emerald Ash Borer in Wisconsin

About 20 percent of Wisconsin’s trees are ash. The DNR is providing grants to municipalities to complete tree inventories. This will help communities to judge how they will be monetarily affected by EAB as their trees become infested and need to be removed, or if they choose to treat and protect them with insecticides.

Wisconsin County Emerald Ash Borer Status
2008 – EAB First identified in Ozaukee and Washington Counties
2009 – Vernon County
As of Sept. 2012, quarantined Wisconsin counties include: Brown, Crawford, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Racine, Rock, Sheboygan, Vernon, Walworth and Waukesha

More Wisconsin Resources for Emerald Ash Borer:

State of Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer Site
Emerald Ash Borer in Milwaukee
DIY Treatment Options for Emerald Ash Borer
Multi-State Map of Emerald Ash Borer Outbreak (PDF)

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