A pest that is responsible for killing millions of North America's ash trees has been located in Whiteside County.
An emerald ash borer (EAB) and a distressed ash tree were found on the county fairgrounds in Morrison.
"We have monitoring traps throughout Whiteside and its neighboring counties," EAB Program Manager Scott Schirmer said. "Thus far, the infestation appears highly localized. In fact, we have not even been able to confirm EAB in any other ash trees on the property."
The larvae of the small, metallic-green beetle burrow into ash tree bark, causing the trees to starve and die. Over 25 million ash trees have died since the Asian beetle was first detected near Detroit in 2002.
Infestation can be identified by thinning and yellowing leaves and D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches. If you suspect an ash tree has been affected, contact your county's Extension office or the Illinois Department of Agriculture.
Forty-one counties around the state are currently under quarantine to help stall "human-assisted" spread of the EAB via the movement of infested wood and nursery stock. The quarantine bans the removal of the following:
Local counties currently under quarantine include: Boone, DeKalb, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, and Winnebago.
For more information, visit www.IllinoisEAB.com.
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