PCC Takes EAB in Stride

We're continuing to prepare for camping season here at Polk County Conservation - we hope you're as excited as we are! Some incredible improvements are currently taking place at Jester, Yellow Banks, and Thomas Mitchell - not to mention this shiny new attraction at Chichaqua Bottoms Greenbelt.

We can't wait to see campers back in our campgrounds, but wanted to spread the word about a tiny pest known as the emerald ash borer. This insect is quickly becoming famous here in Iowa – and for all the wrong reasons.

It is a non-native, small green wood-boring creature that attacks and kills ash trees. The adults live on the outside of ash trees feeding on the leaves during the summer months. The larvae look similar to white grubs and feed on the living plant tissue underneath the bark of ash trees. The trees are killed by the tunneling activity of the larvae under the tree’s bark, which disrupts the flow of water and nutrients.
Photos: adult emerald ash borer, top left (credit: www.forestryimages.org); emerald ash borer larva, bottom left (credit: www.forestryimages.org);
tunnelling emerald ash borer larva, center (credit: Todd Voss, IDALS); suspect ash trees, right (credit: M.H. Shour, ISU Extension).
First detected in the United States in 2002, the borer has rapidly spread west, and has now been found in various counties within Iowa. For this reason, Iowa was placed under a state quarantine in February of this year.

Iowans are encouraged not to transport firewood (or other infested materials) across county or state lines, since moving firewood poses the greatest threat to quickly spreading this insect, and others. Working together, we can protect local ash trees for as long as possible.

Polk County Conservation has developed a sensible management strategy for the existing ash trees on county-owned property. This strategy may be viewed by clicking here.

Looking for some camping tips? Check out our Outdoor Tricks & Tips Pinterest Board.


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