First case of emerald ash borer found in Eau Claire - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

First case of emerald ash borer found in Eau Claire

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UPDATE: The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issues the following release after a tree was found with emerald ash borer in Eau Claire:

MADISON – Emerald ash borer has been found on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the first time it has been seen in Eau Claire County, and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will quarantine the county as a result.

Department of Natural Resources staff collected larvae, or immature insects, on Nov. 27 from a tree on the campus. It had been heavily damaged by woodpeckers feeding on the larvae under the bark. City forestry staff also found several additional infested trees nearby. DATCP submitted samples to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for official confirmation.

For private citizens, the quarantine means that they cannot take firewood from quarantined counties to non-quarantined counties. For businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB, it means that they must work with DATCP to assure that their products are pest-free before shipping.

"Although we have now found EAB in 48 counties, much of the area in those counties remains uninfested. These scattered infestations are caused by human activity, not natural spread of the insect. So, it's still important for people not to move firewood out of infested areas, even within their own quarantined counties," said Brian Kuhn, director of the Plant Industry Bureau within DATCP.

That precaution can delay introduction to new areas of quarantined counties and give communities and property owners more time to prepare. It can also prevent moving other pests that might be hiding on or in firewood, such as gypsy moths or even pests that no one is yet aware of.

Kuhn recommends that property owners in quarantined counties:

  • Watch ash trees for signs of possible EAB infestation: Thinning in the canopy, D-shaped holes in the bark, new branches sprouting low on the trunk, cracked bark, and woodpeckers pulling at the bark to get to insect larvae beneath it. 
  • Consider preventive treatments if their property is within 15 miles of a known infestation. Whether to treat depends on several factors: the age of the trees, the size of the trees, and the number of trees. Treatment costs vary depending on size of the tree and whether you do the treatments yourself or hire a professional.
  • Consider planting different species of trees that are not susceptible to EAB.
  • Contact a professional arborist for expert advice, and visit emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information. 

Emerald ash borer is native to China and probably entered the United States on packing material, showing up first in Michigan in 2002. It was found in Wisconsin in 2008 in Washington County. Eau Claire County joins 47 other Wisconsin counties where EAB has been found: Adams, Brown, Buffalo, Calumet, Chippewa, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Dodge, Door, Douglas, Fond du Lac, Grant, Green, Green Lake, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Lafayette, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Oneida, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Sawyer, Sheboygan, Trempealeau, Vernon, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha, Waupaca, Waushara, Winnebago and Wood. Kewaunee County is also under quarantine because of the proximity of infestations in neighboring counties.



Eau Claire (Press Release) – The City of Eau Claire, Department of Community Services, has received confirmation Monday from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection that the emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive pest that kills ash trees, has been found in the City of Eau Claire, in a dying Ash Tree on the UW Eau Claire Campus just south of Water Street.

This is the first confirmed EAB infestation in the City of Eau Claire, and Eau Claire County.

EAB is a metallic-green beetle that measures approximately ½” long. The immature stage of the insect feeds on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the trees ability to transport water and nutrients. EAB infested ash trees include thinning, or dying branches in the upper canopy, evidence of woodpecker activity, S-shaped feeding galleries under dead or splitting bark, D-shaped exit holes, and water sprouts (along the trunk and main branches).

The city has been planning for the inevitable attack of EAB through the adopted EAB Management Plan. In addition, the City has been practicing tree planting diversification throughout public spaces and parks for the past 5 seasons.

“The find is a classic example where the woodpeckers are finding the infested trees before people on the ground,” said Todd Chwala. “EAB attack is very difficult to detect early on.” “This insect has likely been in this particular tree for quite some time”.

At this time, City staff will continue to follow the EAB Management Plan of selective removal and treatments. This plan was created to coordinate assessment of the EAB threat and plan various response strategies, based on the latest science available.

The management plan focuses on mitigating the impact to the city tree canopy, ensuring public safety , protecting the environment and containing costs to the best extent possible Ash trees will die due to this insect, unless they are chemically treated with insecticides.

For more information, residents are encouraged to visit our website at: http://www.ci.eau-claire.wi.us/ The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection will be following up with a State Wide Press Release.

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