Emerald Ash Borer coming to Finger Lakes

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) could soon make an appearance in your neighborhood and Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension (SCCCE) wants you to be prepared! That’s why SCCCE is hosting a program designed to update municipal decision-makers, green industry professionals, and the community about the early detection and integrated management of the EAB – a destructive invasive insect that was discovered in the Lower Hudson Valley in 2010 and has spread quickly in Western New York. This free workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 30th from 9 am to 12:30 pm at the Seneca Falls Community Center. There will be an optional trip in the afternoon to an EAB infestation site in Chili.This informative, eye-opening program includes presentations by Cornell University Entomologist Mark Whitmore and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation forester Brice June. They will discuss the identification and natural history of EAB and what our communities can do to prepare for this impending pest.“It is not a question of if it (EAB) gets here, but when,” states Whitmore. This invasive beetle from eastern Asia kills all species of ash trees native to North America, and causes severe economic and ecological damage to natural and planted forests alike. Since its discovery in North America near Detroit, MI in 2002, it has spread to 14 states and two Canadian provinces. Ash mortality is 100% near Detroit and is widespread in all the affected areas. With establishment and now spread of EAB in New York State we can expect tremendous economic impacts in forests where ash is a common timber species and in urban areas where ash are frequently planted in yards and as street trees. EAB will impact a wide range of stakeholders from homeowners and small woodlot owners to municipal governments and large timber companies. Horticultural and specialty industries that rely heavily on ash, such as baseball bat and tool handle manufacturers, will be severely impacted by necessary quarantine regulations and the potential complete loss of ash in the future.In fact, ash is quarantined in counties bordering Seneca to the north, south and west. It is important that the planning process be initiated well ahead of EAB arrival so decisions can be made and funding secured. That is one of the many things attendees will learn from this workshop.Governmental officials can find out what they can do to prepare their town or village for this invasive pest. The information is also useful for tree service professionals, homeowners and woodlot owners. If you or someone you know would benefit from this information, please register for the workshop by calling SCCCE at 315-539-9251.

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