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Emerald ash borer plan in effect

State agencies involved in the discovery of the invasive emerald ash borer in the state have completed a delimiting survey and released recommendations for the long-term management of the insect.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills North American species of true ash. It was discovered in Concord in late March. Upon discovery, officials implemented the state’s emerald ash borer response plan, kicking off a multi-agency response, involving a delimiting survey, quarantine, inspections and public meetings.

The Department of Resources and Economic Development’s Division of Forests and Lands led the delimiting survey to determine the extent of the infestation. Division foresters and volunteers collected samples from 195 sites within a 112-square-mile area surrounding the tree where the beetle was first discovered. The emerald ash borer was present in samples from 12 of those sites. Officials have determined that five to six percent of the ash trees within a 24-square mile area are infested.

“This has been an incredible effort involving 70 individuals from multiple state and federal entities and volunteers from 14 agencies and organizations in four states plus New Hampshire citizens, who have been alerting us to potentially infested trees,” Kyle Lombard of the Division of Forests and Lands says.

Long-term management of emerald ash borer involves outreach and education; enforcement of two quarantines currently in effect, and management of the emerald ash borer population.

Lombard says many stakeholders have a role to play in emerald ash borer population management. The state has published recommendations tailored to three distinct geographic zones — the infested area; within 10 miles of the infested area, and beyond 10 miles of the infested area — and they include guidance for those in both urban and forested landscapes. Landowners can use the map at nhbugs.org to determine their zone.

New Hampshire landowners beyond the 10 mile area are urged to take an inventory of their ash trees and evaluate them for signs of emerald ash borer; identify highly susceptible trees and begin annual monitoring, and create trap trees in some instances. For full recommendations for urban and forested landscapes beyond 10 miles of the infested area, go to nhbugs.org.

Residents are urged to heed the recommendations for their areas and to learn how to identify ash trees as well as the signs and symptoms of the emerald ash borer at nhbugs.org.

To report a suspect ash tree, go to http://nhbugs.org/invasive-insect-reporting-form or call the Cooperative Extension Forestry Information Center hotline at 1-800-444-8978. Ash makes up about six percent of New Hampshire’s northern hardwood forests, and it’s a common landscape tree. Emerald ash borer is native to Southeast Asia. It was first detected in North America in the Detroit, Mich., area in 2002.

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