Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Invasive Emerald ash borer found in New Hampshire

The emerald ash borer, an invasive species of beetle that attacks and kills ash trees, was spotted in New Hampshire for the first time last month, officials from the N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development said Friday.
Insect specimens were collected from “a suspect tree” found in Concord March 28 and sent to scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine, all of whom confirmed the insect’s identity, state officials said in a news release.
Lorraine Merrill, the New Hampshire commissioner of agriculture, said the insect’s arrival was not unexpected.
“We have been monitoring the emerald ash borer’s eastward march and preparing for its arrival here,” she said in a news release.
The beetle’s presence has now been recorded in 19 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, state officials said.
Brad Simpkins, state forester with the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, said state agencies have implemented an action plan that’s been in place in anticipation of the insect’s arrival, with the first step being to determine how widespread its presence is.
The emerald ash borer attacks and kills North American species of true ash, with tree deaths occurring three to five years following initial infestation, state officials said.
For more information about the emerald ash borer, contact the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension Forestry Information Center hotline at 1-800-444-8978, or visit www.nhbugs.org to learn the signs and symptoms associated with the ash borer or to report a suspect ash tree.

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