The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive pest that kills ash trees, has been confirmed in Allamakee, Des Moines, Jefferson, Cedar, Union, Black Hawk, Wapello, Bremer, Jasper, Henry, Muscatine, Story, Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, and Monroe counties in Iowa. Read about Indianola's preparations here.
Emerald Ash Borer State-Wide Quarantine Announced
The Iowa DNR and IDALS announced a quarantine for the entire state of Iowa in February, 2014. Even though Iowa has been quarantined statewide, Iowans are encouraged not to transport firewood across county or state lines, since moving firewood poses the greatest threat to quickly spreading EAB or possibly other pests even further.
Iowa State University Initiative
If you have read or heard about Iowa cities and Iowa State University (ISU) removing some ash trees due to the EAB, they removed the trees at this time, prior to the EAB being found with 15 miles of their locations, due to several reasons:
The trees are in poor health.
The trees are in a bad location.
The trees are under stress.
There is an overpopulation of ash trees in the community.
The information provided here is from the ISU Department of Entomology and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship to help guide residents in determining what to do with their ash trees.
As EAB moves into Iowa, this recommendation may change as we learn more about the known infestation areas and the ever changing status of control options. But for now, any application of insecticides to ash trees for EAB control is a waste of time, money and resources.
Removing Ash Trees
We do not recommend removing healthy ash trees to prepare for the EAB infestation. Instead, enjoy the ash resource while you can. We do advise checking the condition of ash trees and note those that are declining or otherwise in poor health.
If more than 50% o the ash tree crown is dead or if the trunk has large wounds or areas of dead bark, the tree is at high risk for potential infestation by EAB. Such trees should be considered for removal and replacement. For these high-risk trees, replacement may be a better use of money than treating.