Don’t move ash wood; there’s one big Restricted Zone now for Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)

Emerald Ash Borer larvae
Emerald Ash Borer larvae. Photo courtesy Brian Sullivan, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

There used to be eight separate Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Restricted Zones in New York State, and now they’ve been expanded and merged into one big zone. In the Restricted Zone, you can’t move potentially infested ash wood, which includes firewood, logs, branches and nursery stock.

The new EAB Restricted Zone includes part or all of Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chenango, Chemung, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Dutchess, Erie, Genesee, Greene, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Wayne, Westchester, Wyoming and Yates counties.

See the map on the website of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

If you see signs of EAB attack on ash trees outside of the Restrictive Zone, please report these occurrences to the DEC’s Forest Health Information Line toll-free at 1-866-640-0652.

The DEC and Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) made the change to the zones to strengthen the state’s efforts to slow the spread of this invasive pest.

EAB larvae can be moved long distances in firewood, logs, branches and nursery stock, later emerging to infest new areas.

These regulated articles may not leave the Restricted Zone without a compliance agreement or limited permit from the Department of Agriculture and Markets, applicable only when the Emerald Ash Borers aren’t flying (Sept. 1 – April 30). Wood chips may not leave the Restricted Zone between April 15 and May 15, which is when EAB is likely to emerge. (Regulated articles from outside of the Restricted Zone may travel through the Restricted Zone as long as the origin and the destination are listed on the waybill and the articles are moved without stopping, except for traffic conditions and refueling.)

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) or EAB is a serious invasive tree pest in the United States, killing hundreds of millions of ash trees in forests, yards and neighborhoods.

The beetles’ larvae feed in the cambium layer just below the bark, preventing the transport of water and nutrients into the crown and killing the tree. Emerging adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk.

Adults are roughly 3/8 to 5/8 inch long with metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen. They may be present from late May through early September but are most common in June and July. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.

EAB was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 in southeastern Michigan. It was also found in Windsor, Ontario the same year. This Asian beetle infests and kills North American ash species (Fraxinus sp.) including green, white, black and blue ash. Thus, all native ash trees are susceptible.

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