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Friday, January 18, 2008
The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDA) confirmed today that the emerald ash borer has taken up residence in the City of Geneva.
An arborist employed by Hendrickson's Care of Trees Tree Company discovered the EAB infestation while responding to a residential call. The confirmed infestation is on public and private properties northeast of the intersection of Randall Road and Route 38. IDA officials responded immediately with a limited survey of the area and results indicate the infestation is limited, at this time, to the immediate area along Bradbury Lane.
The recent and numerous EAB finds underscore the need for communities to be proactive against EAB. IDA urges community officials to initiate an ash-tree-reduction-strategy within their districts. "Begin by taking inventory of all ash trees within the community, budget needs for labor and equipment should large-scale ash tree removals be necessary. Then aggressively begin to cull your poor-conditioned ash trees. Work with local tree care professionals, as they are generally the first line of detection. Establish a formal plan to record and report inventory reduction and reforestation activities. Start now to develop a communication plan should the emerald ash borer be found in your community," says Warren Goetsch, bureau chief for Environmental Programs.
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is a small, metallic green, non-native invasive pest whose larvae feast on the trunks of ash trees thereby cutting off their ability to transport nutrients and ultimately causing the tree's decline. Ash trees can be infested with EAB for a few years before the tree begins to demonstrate any signs of EAB infestation. Symptoms of EAB include canopy dieback, D-shaped exit holes, shoots sprouting from the tree trunks and S-shaped larval galleries underneath the bark.
EAB was first discovered in Illinois in June 2006, in the Windings near Lily Lake in Kane County. The Illinois Department of Agriculture has since confirmed EAB infestations in several communities within Kane, northern Cook, DuPage and LaSalle counties and has issued a quarantine affecting all or parts of 18 of the northeastern-most counties of the state including Kane. As part of a cooperative agreement with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS), IDA is responsible for EAB survey, control/eradication and outreach.
This EAB infestation is of little surprise to IDA officials, as it seems to confirm suspicions of its movement pattern. "The Geneva EAB infestation kind of completes the connection between the first 2006 EAB find in Kane County and the earlier find in the summer of 2007 in Glendale Heights in Du Page County. If you look at a map with all the confirmed EAB infestations there is a hint of a definitive pattern, and Geneva was the missing link," says Mark Cinnamon, Nursery Manager for IDA.
City officials will continue to inventory and monitor trees closely to determine the full extent of the EAB infestation.
EAB was first discovered in North America in 2002 in the Detroit and Ontario areas. Since then, it is estimated that approximately 25 million ash trees in North America have been felled due to EAB.
More than 11,000 trees make up the City of Geneva's parkway canopies. The ash species account for approximately 20 percent of that number. As a proactive measure to limit the possible damage from an EAB infestation, the City of Geneva ceased the planting of ash trees in 2002. As a result of the Dutch Elm Disease that devastated Geneva's Elm tree population in the late 70's, the City implemented a tree planting program to diversify tree species to avoid a reoccurrence of another heavily populated canopy devastation.
City staff members will respond immediately to suspect sighting of EAB. It is very important for residents of Geneva to be aware and vigilant in inspecting their ash trees for this pest. If you suspect you may have found adult or larval form of this insect, freeze the insect and bring it the City of Geneva's Public Works Department, 1800 South Street or contact the Public Works Department at 232-1502 or the Illinois Department of Agriculture toll-free hotline 1-800-641-3934.