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A Partnership of UNH Cooperative Extension and NH Fish and Game

Update: Emerald Ash Borer in New Hampshire

Found in Concord, Bow, Canterbury and Loudon

The emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive beetle, attacks and kills white, black and green ash (not mountain ash) within three to five years of infestation. The insect was detected in Concord and Bow in the spring of 2013 and was recently found in Canterbury and Loudon.

We are on the lookout for EAB in other parts of the state, but we need the help of all citizens. Look for blonding of the bark and lots of woodpecker activities on ash trees. Blonding occurs when woodpeckers forage for insects beneath the bark and chip away the top bark layer, creating a lighter color than the surrounding bark.

New Hampshire municipalities and landowners can help slow the spread of EAB and reduce EAB-associated costs by looking for ash trees and monitoring them for signs of EAB. Protection measures will vary depending on how valuable the trees are and where they are in relation to the infestation. A map showing the infestation and recommendations are available at www.nhbugs.org.

People are also encouraged to think about the movement of firewood, especially in the camping season. Buy firewood from a local distributor and burn it where you buy it. Most importantly, don’t move firewood from Merrimack County to other areas of the state. As a matter of fact it is illegal to move hardwood firewood out of Merrimack County.

Quarantines in effect- don’t move firewood

State officials remind residents and visitors about two quarantines put in place to minimize the spread of invasive insects. A quarantine issued in April 2013 prohibits the transportation of ash nursery stock, ash wood products and all hardwood firewood from Merrimack County. Piera Siegert, state entomologist with the Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food (DAMF) said, “The quarantine is aimed at limiting the human-assisted spread of the insect in a way that impacts as few stakeholders as possible.”

People spread EAB and other invasive pests when the move firewood from an infested are to one that is uninfested. Also still in effect is the firewood quarantine intended to help prevent the arrival of more EAB or other damaging insects by prohibiting uncertified firewood from entering New Hampshire.

This camping season, forest rangers with the Department of Resource and Economic Development’s (DRED) Division of Forests and Lands will conduct inspections at select locations, looking for out-of-state firewood and firewood from Merrimack County. State Forester Brad Simpkins says, “We want to remind our in-state and out-of-state campers we have a firewood quarantine. We inform campers using state campgrounds about quarantines prior to their arrival to ensure greater compliance with the quarantine.”

Biocontrols are being tried

One way to “slow the spread” of EAB is by using biocontrols—using natural enemies to reduce the population of the invasive insect.  In May, parasitic wasp larvae were released on two carefully selected sites in Concord with the hopes that these wasps will kill enough of the emerald ash borer to help control the spread of them. Read more about this project in this newsletter or visit the news button at www.nhbugs.org

Attend a meeting to learn more

June is a busy month for workshops about EAB, including special training for volunteers interested in presenting the talk NHBugs: The Big Three as part of the Speaking for Wildlife speaker’s bureau. A complete listing of upcoming events is available.

You can learn more about EAB and other invasive forest pests, and can report suspect insects or infested trees at www.nhbugs.org—the primary source for information on invasive forest insects in New Hampshire.

by Karen Bennett, UNH Cooperative Extension Forester
Taking Action for Wildlife Summer 2014 Newsletter