Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, May 18-24

May 16, 2008

Gov. Jim Doyle announced that Wisconsin will observe Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week, May 18-24, 2008. Through a proclamation, Gov. Doyle urged state residents and visitors to become better educated about emerald ash borer and the destruction it causes.

The City of Madison will join communities around the state in observance of EAB Awareness Week by posting signs and tying ribbons around ash trees along some select streets and parks that are heavily populated with ash trees. Those locations are: John Nolan Drive, 3400 East Washington Ave, 4400-4500 Milwaukee Street, corner of Whitney Way and Mineral Point and Tenney Park.

In observance of EAB Awareness Week, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz will have a press conference on Monday, May 19 at 1:00p.m. in Tenney Park near the playground equipment. It is estimated that approximately 30% of all street and park trees in Madison are ash trees. EAB infestation would be on par with the devastation left after Dutch Elm Disease in the 1960s and 1970s.

Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic, destructive, beetle from eastern Russia, northern China, Japan and Korea. It is believed that it arrived in the US on a shipping barge carrying ash tree lumber. It was first discovered in the US near Detroit, Michigan in June 2002. EAB has been found in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois (50 miles from WI border), and Ontario, Canada. To date, approximately 25 million trees have been lost due to EAB.

In 2007, several trees in Madison were removed or girdled to create traps to detect possible emerald ash borer. To date, no EAB have been detected in Madison.

The City of Madison's Forestry Section in cooperation with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has developed an EAB program of ongoing education, early detection, response and management plan. Currently, the Madison Forestry Section has formed a cross-departmental EAB task force and is working on a street and public tree inventory. A complete inventory is a necessary step to effectively manage the urban forest in the long term, not only for possible EAB infestation. It is expected to be completed in 2009.

To help slow the spread of EAB, all citizens asked not transport firewood and to become educated about the beetle. Information about EAB can be found at www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov. or by calling the EAB Hotline at 1-800-462-2803.

Contact:
  • Marla Eddy, 266-4550
  • Laura Whitmore, 266-5949