MOUNT VERNON — The spread of the Emerald Ash Borer continues in Ohio.
Lawrence became the latest county in the state to be added to the quarantine list by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The ODA quarantine is an attempt to slow the artificial spread of the destructive pest.
The specimen, confirmed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, was collected by an Ohio Department of Agriculture surveyor from a purple trap located in an ash tree near Forest Road 105, near Ohio 650, within Wayne National Forest. This is Lawrence County’s first known infestation.
Knox County is on the state’s quarantine list. This was done to help prevent the artificial spread of the pest. To date, there have been no occurrences of the Emerald Ash Borer in the county.
The quarantine prohibits the movement of all hardwood firewood and ash tree materials from one quarantined county to a non-quarantined area.
The materials prohibited from leaving quarantined areas in Ohio include:
•Ash logs, ash limbs, and ash branches.
•All non-coniferous (hardwood) firewood with bark and outer half inch of sapwood intact.
•Ash wood chips and bark pieces larger than 1 inch.
Businesses or individuals wanting to move or accept ash trees, parts of an ash tree, or hardwood firewood from quarantined areas must first have an ODA compliance agreement. These businesses must be willing, and able, to employ acceptable handling practices, as outlined in the signed agreement, that help ensure EAB is not inadvertently introduced to new areas.
The importance of observing the quarantine cannot be overstated in any season. People buy and move firewood for summer cookouts and camping. Even more wood is moved in winter for heating purposes.
“It is important for Ohioans to observe the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine, which prohibits the movement of hardwood firewood and ash tree materials from a quarantined county into or through a non-quarantined county,” said Ohio Department of Agriculture Director Robert Boggs. “The quarantine is in place to help slow the artificial movement of this pest across Ohio, and we encourage people, particularly now during camping season, to buy firewood locally.”
There are now 69 counties under quarantine including Knox. Although Knox County does not have any indication of being infested, it has been put under quarantine because surrounding counties are infested.
“On their own, Emerald Ash Borers only spread at a rate of about a mile per year,” said OSU Extension agent Troy Cooper. “I can’t say when it will get here. But it’s really only a matter of time. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in the county but hadn’t been detected yet.”
Boggs said that it is possible that eventually all 88 counties would be put under state quarantine.
There is also a federal quarantine that makes it illegal to transport these same materials out of Ohio.