Emerald ash border invasive species discovered in St. Lawrence County, thanks to volunteer efforts
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 5:31 pm

The invasive emerald ash borer (EAB) has been found and confirmed for the first time in St. Lawrence and Franklin counties, thanks to efforts from volunteers.

Volunteers from St. Lawrence County found the sample and turned it into Paul Hetzler at Cornell Cooperative Extension. Hetzler submitted it to the DEC, where it was confirmed to be an emerald ash borer.

John Payton of National Grid is on the local Emerald Ash Borer task force. He volunteered to deploy and monitor all 17 traps, with assistance from fellow volunteers.

The invasive pest was found within a few miles of the Canadian border and may represent an expansion of Canadian infestations into New York.

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a serious invasive tree pest in the United States, killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in forests, yards and along streets. The beetles’ larvae feed in the cambium layer just below the bark, preventing the transport of water and nutrients into the crown and killing the tree. Emerging adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. The pests may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.

EAB, which is native to Asia, was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. It was found in Windsor, Ontario, the same year. This beetle infests and kills all North American ash species (Fraxinus sp.) including green, white, black, and blue ash.

EAB larvae can be moved long distances in firewood, logs, branches, and nursery stock, later emerging to infest new areas. As part of the State's ongoing efforts to slow the spread of EAB, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) and DEC have quarantine regulations defining a Restricted Zone encompassing the current known EAB infestations.

Regulated articles may not leave the Restricted Zone without a compliance agreement or limited permit from NYSDAM, which allows restricted movement during the non-flight season (Sept. 1 - April 30). Regulated articles from outside of the Restricted Zone may travel through the Restricted Zone as long as the origin and the destination are listed on the waybill and the articles are moved without stopping, except for traffic conditions and refueling. Wood chips may not leave the Restricted Zone between April 15th and May 15th of each year when EAB is likely to emerge.

For more information about emerald ash borer, please visit DEC's website. Any signs of EAB attack on ash trees outside of the existing Restricted Zone should be reported to DEC’s Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652.