Press-Republican

Outdoors

May 18, 2014

DEC offers tips for Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week

The fourth-annual Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week will be held from May 18 through 24, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.

In observance of EAB Awareness Week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo issued a proclamation urging all New Yorkers to exercise environmental stewardship to protect trees from infestation that can be devastating to landscapes, habitats and forest product industries. State residents and visitors are encouraged to learn as much as possible about the emerald ash borer and the destruction it causes to trees, a press release states.

As part of EAB Awareness Week, the DEC; the Department of Agriculture and Markets; Cornell Cooperative Extension; the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation; and volunteers will post signs and tie ribbons on more than 6,000 ash trees along select streets and in parks around the state that are populated with ash trees.

The emerald ash borer, first discovered in New York in 2009, is an invasive insect that kills all types of ash trees. Twenty-two counties in New York currently have infestations and state agencies are working diligently to stop the movement of beetles out of these areas in firewood and other wood products.

Tens of millions of ash trees have been killed in the United States by the emerald ash borer and all of the hundreds of millions of ash trees in New York are at risk, according to the release.

To help slow the spread of EAB, all citizens are asked not to move firewood and to look for and report the signs of the beetle on ash trees. Citizens should be aware of New York state's firewood regulations (http://www.dec.ny.gov/regs/4079.html), which restrict the movement of untreated firewood to 50 miles, and EAB quarantines, which prevent the spread of potentially infested materials.

DEC is continuing to pursue and promote a strategy called Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) to slow the spread of EAB within the state and mitigate its devastating economic and environmental impacts. DEC’s SLAM strategy encompasses a variety of approaches including removing infested trees, defining and monitoring infestation boundaries more precisely, and researching insecticides and organisms that will kill the insect.

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