According to a new press release by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), quarantine regulations pertaining to the containment of emerald ash borer (EAB) have now been removed.
The ruling comes after years of tracking data across North America, which confirmed that quarantine regulations are ineffective in containing the spread of EAB.
According to APHIS, “We’ve been transparent about the challenges associated with controlling the emerald ash borer and that the domestic quarantine has not proven effective in stopping its spread. The Agency has worked to identify more effective and less intrusive methods and will now direct available resources toward non-regulatory options for management and containment of the pest, such as rearing and releasing biological control agents. Results have already proved effective and the actions announced today will allow the Agency to increase their use.”
Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (or more commonly known as emerald ash borer – EAB) was first discovered in the United States back in the summer of 2002 in Detroit, Michigan. Since then, it’s been found in 35 U.S. states as well as the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. It’s been estimated that EAB has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees across North America since being discovered.
But just how does EAB kill ash trees? The larvae feed on the fragile inner bark areas of the tree – disrupting the tree’s ability to move water and nutrients throughout its cellular system. If left untreated, the ash tree will most certainly die from the disruption.
APHIS is still actively engaged with the National Plant Board on more effective strategies surrounding the transportation of firewood, which is one of the main ways in which EAB is believed to spread. The ruling does not change the committed made by APHIS to preserve and maintain valued ash trees throughout North America.
If you have ash trees on your property, SavATree recommends effective, annual EAB treatment to help combat this highly invasive and destructive pest. For more information on treatment options, click here.