Why are the ash trees dying in Michigan?
Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is an exotic beetle that was discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles nibble on ash foliage but cause little damage. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients. Emerald ash borer probably arrived in the United States on solid wood packing material carried in cargo ships or airplanes originating in its native Asia. Emerald ash borer is also established in Windsor, Ontario, was found in Ohio in 2003, northern Indiana in 2004, northern Illinois and Maryland in 2006, western Pennsylvania and West Virginia in 2007, Wisconsin, Missouri and Virginia in summer 2008, and Minnesota and New York in the spring of 2009. Since its discovery, EAB has:
- Killed tens of millions of ash trees in southeastern Michigan alone, with tens of millions more lost in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Caused regulatory agencies and the USDA to enforce quarantines (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, New York, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Quebec, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) and fines to prevent potentially infested ash trees, logs or hardwood firewood from moving out of areas where EAB occurs.
- Cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest products industries tens of millions of dollars.