Emerald Ash Borer Found in Howard County

The June 10, 2011 IPM Report published by the University of MD Extension Service details a confirmed sighting of emerald ash borer in Howard County. This is significant because this sighting is outside the original zone of infestation and quarantine located in Prince Georges and Charles County. The initial sighting was made by a licensed arborist when he met with owners to look at a declining ash tree. The arborist noticed the distinctive D-shaped holes in the tree; then he phoned Stanton Gill of the University of MD Extension Service who visited the site and collected adult specimens.

Emerald Ash Borer adult

Photo from US Forest Service

A positive identification of these insects was made and verified by other insect experts with the US Department of Agriculture. Officials returned to the site, collected additional samples from the tree, mentioned that it looked like the tree had been infested for 2- 4 years and observed that other nearby ash were also being attacked. It should also be noted that adult emerald ash borers have been spotted in the purple emerald ash borer traps located in the Columbia area and in other areas of Prince Georges County outside the original zone of infestation.

Following these findings, officials with the MD Department of Agriculture decided to extend the Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine to include all of Charles, Prince Georges and Howard counties. This means that it is prohibited to move ash trees or hardwood firewood from these counties. To help stop the spread of emerald ash borer the MD Department of Agriculture asks citizens to:

  1. Buy or collect firewood where you intend to burn it,

  2. Don’t plant ash trees, and

  3. Report signs of emerald ash borer to the Maryland Home and Garden Information Center at 1-800-342-2507 or the Maryland Department of Agriculture at 410-841—5920.

Nature Notes for 6/26/2011