April 5, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Invasive emerald ash borer detected in New Hampshire
State agencies implement action plan
CONCORD, N.H. – Officials from the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) and Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food (DAMF) have confirmed that the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) (EAB), an invasive beetle that attacks and kills ash trees, is in New Hampshire.
A suspect tree was spotted in Concord on March 28. Insect specimens from the tree were collected and sent to scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine (USDA APHIS PPQ), who have confirmed the insect’s identity.
New Hampshire Commissioner of Agriculture Lorraine Merrill says the insect’s arrival was not unexpected. “We have been monitoring the emerald ash borer’s eastward march and preparing for its arrival here,” Merrill said. EAB now occurs in 19 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces.
Brad Simpkins, state forester with the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, said state agencies have implemented the action plan that has been in place in anticipation of the insect’s arrival. The first step will be to determine how widespread its presence is.
Simpkins says Concord residents should be prepared to see Division of Forests and Lands personnel surveying ash trees in the area in the days and weeks to come. “This work will be critical to developing a management program for this unwelcome pest,” Simpkins said. “Residents’ cooperation would be greatly appreciated.”
Emerald ash borer attacks and kills North American species of true ash, and tree death occurs three to five years following initial infestation. The detection in Concord is the first for New Hampshire and is the easternmost detection in North America.
Ash makes up about six percent of New Hampshire’s northern hardwood forests, and it’s a commonly used landscape tree.
For more information about emerald ash borer, please contact the UNH Cooperative Extension Forestry Information Center hotline at 1-800-444-8978, or visit www.nhbugs.org to learn the signs and symptoms associated with the ash borer or to report a suspect ash tree.