LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – Garland, Montgomery, and Pike Counties have been added to confirmed sites of the emerald ash borer—an invasive beetle that feeds on and kills ash trees.
Since the first Arkansas detection in 2014, EAB is confirmed in the following 17 counties: Bradley, Calhoun, Clark, Cleveland, Columbia, Dallas, Garland, Hempstead, Hot Spring, Lafayette, Montgomery, Nevada, Ouachita, Pike, Randolph, Saline, and Union. The Arkansas State Plant Board works with United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to confirm EAB sites.
An EAB quarantine was established in September of 2014 and expanded in October of 2016. The 33-county area included in the quarantine encompasses counties with confirmed EAB sites, as well as buffer counties around those areas. Garland, Montgomery and Pike Counties are already inside currently quarantined areas as buffer counties. This change in total confirmed sites of EAB will not affect the size of the current quarantined area, at this time.
The goal of the current federal EAB quarantine is to limit the spread of EAB caused by long-distance movement of ash by humans. See the 33-county Arkansas area affected by the EAB quarantine attached, or at this link.
Quarantined items (which cannot be transported outside of the quarantine area) include firewood of all hardwood species, and the following ash items: nursery stock; green lumber with bark attached; other material living, dead, cut or fallen including logs, pulpwood, stumps, roots, branches, mulch and composted/un-composted chips (1 inch or greater). Firewood is the only quarantined item that relates to all hardwood; all other quarantined items are relative to ash, only.
The EAB is a small beetle (1/2 inch in size) that originated in Asia. The first EAB discovery took place in Michigan, over a decade ago. EAB infestation usually kills the ash host within 2-5 years of infestation.