Update on the Emerald Ash Borer: the Infestation Arrives in Frederick County
Jeff Feaga, Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources
In the summer of 2014, I wrote about the inevitable path of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to infect ash trees in Frederick County, Maryland and beyond. That article, titled “The Emerald Ash Borer – Planning for this Unwelcome Visitor”, provided an overview of the insect’s biology, the spread of the infestation, and links to information about using pesticides to treat individual trees. At that time, EAB was not known (at least to the general public) to be present in the county.
Emerald ash borer adult. Photo UMD Extension.
You can’t stop the inevitable. By March of 2015, the Frederick County Forestry Board and the Maryland Forestry Service were already having their first EAB program for Frederick County landowners that had questions about what do about the pests. In July of 2015, the City of Frederick sent out a media release to announce that the EAB was affecting ash trees in the city and to encourage homeowners to attend a workshop about the pest. This workshop served as a chance for the city to explain to residents that many of the 587 ash trees in the City Right of Way (“Street Trees”) were going to need to be cut and removed. While overall, only 6.15% of Frederick City’s trees are ash, some neighborhoods have proportionally higher ash tree densities. This city-published flyer released at the time of the media announcement shows the number of ash street trees by neighborhood.
Sadly, attempts to confine the EAB infestation to the western side of the Chesapeake Bay have also failed. Maryland Department of Agriculture trapping efforts in 2015 show that EAB is now present in Queen Annes, Talbot, and Dorchester Counties. Meanwhile, more widespread trapping efforts are following the spread of EAB into the South, Plains States, and even the West Coast of the United States.