Monday, June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Buffalo, New York

Collaborative Control Efforts Underway to Contain First Infestation Found in Erie County

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced an infestation of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in the City of Buffalo's South Park. This is the first EAB infestation to be detected in Erie County. EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black and blue ash.

"The discovery of the Emerald Ash Borer in Buffalo is extremely unfortunate but not surprising," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "Despite multi-state efforts to curtail its expansion, EAB has spread across the northeastern United States over the last decade. DEC is coordinating with federal and local government partners across the state to prevent the further spread of this destructive insect, especially outside of the quarantine areas. Awareness and preparedness are our best defenses, both of which are emphasized in DEC's strategic Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM) program."


"Emerald Ash Borer is a serious threat to the region and the City of Buffalo has been preparing for its arrival for some time," said Deputy Commissioner Andrew Rabb of the City of Buffalo's Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets. "An effort to reduce the number of ash on city property was put in place after the first outbreaks occurred in Michigan. Ash now makes up less than 2% of Buffalo's street tree population and roughly 10% of trees in city parks. The city is working closely with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy to develop and implement a treatment plan for historic landscape trees."

Buffalo Olmsted Parks Executive Director Thomas Herrera-Mishler said, "We have been partnering with the City of Buffalo and DEC for over a year to prepare for this outbreak, raising funds and public awareness to try to minimize the impact of EAB on the historic Olmsted Parks and Parkways."

DEC, Cornell University, the City of Buffalo and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy began collaborative response efforts to address the infestation at South Park immediately after the discovery last week. Initial surveying suggests that less than a dozen trees in South Park show signs of infestation; the trees are located along the park's perimeter in a natural wooded area.


EAB was first detected in New York State in Cattaraugus County in 2009. Since then, infestations have been confirmed in seven other counties including Genesee, Monroe, Livingston, Steuben, Greene, Ulster and now Erie. Sixteen counties in western New York and Greene and Ulster counties remain quarantined...

Read the full story here.


Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3, 2011

Monitoring Forest Pests by the Pool

From the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Protecting New Hampshire’s forest from invasive pests is daunting. It takes political will, action plans, scientific knowledge, funding, staffing, planning, lots of hard work, and most importantly the help of the public. The ultimate in invasive pest management is to keep the pest out of New Hampshire altogether. Short of that we need to find the infestation soon after its accidental arrival when the outbreak is geographically small and affects few trees. Case in point, in 2008 the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) was discovered in Worcester, Massachusetts setting off one of the most extensive and expensive forest pest eradication programs in history. The reason it became so extensive and thus very expensive is that the outbreak went undetected for more than ten years. In those 10 to 15 years the infestation spread to over 70 square miles around Worcester, MA.

To meet the goal of keeping invasive pests out of New Hampshire we’re studying modes of transportation and natural vectoring capabilities of ALB and designing quarantines to limit the movement of host material. To meet the goal of finding any accidental introduction early when it’s a manageable problem we need the help of the general public. To that end, the Division of Forests and Lands worked jointly with the UNH Cooperative Extension to develop a “citizen monitoring program” that would help survey for devastating forest pests such as Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. This past summer a group of volunteers were trained to collect insects from outdoor swimming pool filters.

Why pools as collection sites? Days after the discovery of ALB in Worcester experts were canvassing neighborhoods investigating the extent of the outbreak when they stumbled across a public pool attendant who said he was collecting these beetles for years in his pool filters. We used this knowledge to create a program designed to reach out to pool sites around the state. We asked attendants to collect insects found in their pools for six weeks in July and August when the potential flight period of the ALB is at its peak. This past summer 34 volunteers distributed throughout all regions of the state participated in the project. On a weekly basis the UNH County Extension Forester visited those sites in their county and swapped empty jars for full jars of insects the volunteers had collected. This was repeated for six weeks in July and August when the weather was warm enough to support adult ALB activity. The jars of insects were delivered to the Division of Forests and Lands Forest Health lab at Fox State Forest in Hillsborough. The insects were sorted by order, family and species to determine if any target species like ALB were present.

The results of collecting insects in pools were absolutely spectacular. At those 34 sites from around the state we collected 5,811 insects in 18 different orders. 2,444 of those were in the order Coleoptera (beetles) and that was really important because our target species, ALB, is a beetle. There is no doubt that if there was an infestation of ALB anywhere near those pools we would’ve collected some in the survey.

Read the full story at link.