The emerald ash borer was recently discovered in Marathon County and now the county is under quarantine.
The emerald ash borer is a beetle known for destroying massive amounts of trees across the Midwest.
The Wisconsin Emerald Ash Borer Program includes The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, the Department of Natural Resources, UW-Madison, UW-Extension, USDA Forest Service, and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
The Wisconsin DATCP said in a news release that emerald ash borer was confirmed after a tree care service discovered infested trees on private property at Rib Mountain. Specimens were identified by USDA APHIS, the release said.
Tim Allen, forest pest program coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection said, “Marathon County is newly discovered infestation so it is not as extensive compared to Southeastern Wisconsin which we are starting to see dramatic mortality and the infestation dates back to 2008.”
The DATCP said in a April 2016 news release, Portage and Wood Counties are quarantined. Quarantines prohibit ash wood products and hardwood firewood from being moved to areas that are not quarantined.
For businesses handling wood products that could carry EAB, this means that they must work with DATCP to assure that they are not transporting the pest to non-quarantine counties. For private citizens, a quarantine means that residents may not take firewood from these counties to non-quarantine counties.
“As long as the federal government is maintaining a quarantine program, Marathon County will stay quarantined indefinitely. There are currently 48 counties under quarantine in Wisconsin,” Allen said.
DATCP recommends that property owners who have ash trees in quarantined counties keep a close watch for possible signs of EAB infestation and consider preventive treatments if property is within 15 miles of a known infestation.
If property owners suspect an infestation, they should call a professional arborist and visit emeraldashborer.wi.gov for detailed information.