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EAB discovered in Kenosha County: Isolated case, officials say

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Gazette Staff and Associated Press
October 22, 2008

Just because the emerald ash borer has not been found in Rock County doesn't mean residents should be complacent, said Mick Skwarok, outreach specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.


"So far, we have not found anything in Rock County; I guess you can call that good news," he said. "However, there are a lot of ash trees in Rock County, and there are a lot we haven't looked at."


Tuesday's discovery of an infected tree in Kenosha County is a reminder for Wisconsinites to know the signs of emerald ash borer and follow the rules about transporting trees and firewood, officials said.


The emerald ash borer has been discovered in Kenosha County in a newly planted tree that apparently was transported illegally from a nursery in northern Illinois, Wisconsin officials said Tuesday.


The infected tree was one of two green ash trees that had been planted on private property in southern Kenosha County, several miles north of Silver Lake.


The discovery marks the second area of Wisconsin where the highly destructive pest has been found. The first finding, in early August, was in and around Newburg in western Ozaukee and eastern Washington counties.


State agriculture officials said they have since identified about 130 ash trees in the Newburg area suspected of being infested. The insects appear to have been present there for several years, officials said.


For the last two years, the state has been cutting and peeling trees in Rock County and around the state to check for the invasive pest. It plans to cut down five or six more trees in Rock County before the end of the year, Skwarok said.


None of the Rock County trees has tested positive, he said.


Native ash trees have no natural defenses against the emerald ash borer, which is indigenous to Asia. It is believed the bugs hitchhiked to the United States on wooden packing material.


The emerald ash borer first was found in Michigan in 2002 and has been responsible for killing 40 million ash trees in Michigan and tens of millions of ash trees in nine other states.


TO LEARN MORE

To learn the signs of emerald ash borer and the rules concerning transporting trees and firewood, visit www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov.



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