|Adult Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire). Photo by David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org|
Emerald ash borer, often abbreviated as EAB by those unlucky enough to be familiar with the pest, feeds on any and all species of North American ash (Fraxinus species). Trees at risk include the beautiful Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia).
|Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia) is an important tree in urban and suburban landscapes, as well as an important native tree in riparian areas up and down the Willamette Valley.|
Prior to the Colorado siting, EAB sitings have been restricted to East of the Rocky Mountains.
|Emerald Ash Borer Distribution Map, December, 2012. Red dots are sites of initial detection. White areas on the map are areas of general infestation. Map source: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/surveyinfo.cfm.|
If EAB makes it to Oregon, large expanses of native ash are at risk. In fact, I overheard one city arborist talk about how he's stopped using ash as street trees, because 'it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when emerald ash borer arrives'. This was 3 years ago.
|Areas at risk of Emerald Ash Borer Infestation. Note the predominance of red and yellow up and down the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Map source: http://www.fs.fed.us/foresthealth/technology/invasives_agrilusplanipennis_riskmaps.shtml|
|Emerald ash borer damage (David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org.|
But most heartbreaking of all, Oregon Ash in riparian forests may perish.
|Image Credit: http://oregonexplorer.info/wetlands/ForestedWetlands|
What can you do to help stem the spread of EAB? At this point, when EAB has not yet been confirmed in Oregon, the most important thing you can do is to be aware of this pest ~ so that you can be a first responder to an invasive pest.
- Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of EAB. Good resources are listed, below.
- Signs and Symptoms of EAB: http://labs.russell.wisc.edu/eab/signs-and-symptoms/
- Signs and Symptoms of EAB: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/E-2938.pdf
- General Information on EAB: http://www.emeraldashborer.info/