Detection Trees Yielding Results In The Fight Against Emerald Ash Borer
The Morton Arboretum-Led Survey Discovers Three Trees Have Attracted Borers
LISLE, IL (December 5, 2006) – A new Emerald ash borer infestation has been discovered in Illinois through the “Detection Tree” survey program (formerly known as “trap trees”) that The Morton Arboretum is conducting along with cooperating organizations.
The newest infestation was discovered in a Detection Tree in the Burnidge Forest Preserve in Kane County, on the western border of Elgin, at the intersection of Big Timber Road and Coombs Road. This location is approximately 9 miles north of the original Emerald ash borer (EAB) discovery in the Lily Lake area of Kane County.
Near Batavia, in the Dick Young Forest Preserve, another Detection Tree yielded larvae that tested positive for EAB. This tree was located one-tenth of a mile west of the Fabyan Parkway intersection with Main Street, in an abandoned nursery. An Arboretum surveyor found a third “Trap Tree” infested with EAB in Campton Township.
“Although Detection Trees are not 100 percent effective, they are currently the best tool we have available to us,” said Edith Makra, arborist and Arboretum Community Trees Advocate, who also serves on the state’s Management and Science Advisory Panel.
“The fact that the Detection Trees are picking up beetles nine miles from the original EAB find shows that these trees are working. We are looking for a needle in a haystack, in a widespread area,” said Arboretum entomologist Fredric Miller, Ph.D., who directs the Arboretum-led survey.
Detection Trees join other detection efforts, such as “bark-peel surveys” in which selected ash trees are cut down and bark is stripped to inspect for larvae; and purple “traps” containing a substance that may attract the borers, similar to a Detection Tree. These tools – along with help from the general public reporting sightings of adult beetles during the “fly season” or evidence of borer infestation in trees – all can play a part in efforts to detect and limit the spread of this pest.
Once the surveys are completed, state and federal officials will carefully consider all survey results to determine appropriate regulatory response. Officials hope to complete these surveys by the end of the year.
To set-up a Detection Tree, experts remove a strip of bark from an ash tree in late spring, sending the tree into decline. This condition makes the tree more attractive to the borers. In the fall, the tree is taken down and its bark is stripped. If a larva is found, surveyors send it to a federal testing lab where experts determine whether it is EAB.
The federally-funded survey set up Detection Trees at 108 sites across the state, with 53 cooperators involved including forest preserves, park districts, recreational sites, municipalities, arboreta, cemeteries, Illinois Department of Natural Resources campgrounds, production nurseries, wood product facilities and other facilities. So far this year, almost 130 trees have been inspected out of approximately 160 trees to be checked. 150 more will Detection Trees be checked next year.
Also, the Arboretum is supporting the federal government’s expansion of the Emerald ash borer quarantine to include the entire state of Illinois, plus all of Ohio and Indiana.
“This expansion is an appropriate and proactive means of helping to slow the movement of Emerald ash borer,” said Dr. Clement W. Hamilton, Arboretum Director of Research. Hamilton noted that people moving ash products, particularly firewood, are the primary means of introducing EAB to an area that was previously not infested.
The federal quarantine, which takes effect December 1, prohibits anyone from moving hardwood firewood of any type, plus raw ash material, out of the quarantined states, unless such a shipment has been properly processed to mitigate the risk of EAB and the owner has received the appropriate federal certifications.
The Emerald ash borer problem once again illustrates the danger of planting too many trees of one species in a given area. In some municipalities, ash trees make up more than 30-percent of the canopy. Hamilton recommends the planting of no more than 5-percent of any one species.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contact: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103,