Emerald Ash Borer Found In Hamilton County

Monday, July 01, 2013

Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees, has been found in Hamilton County. The identification was made recently and has been confirmed by USDA.

The find in Hamilton County is of particular concern because it is not adjacent to the already quarantined areas in East Tennessee. At least a dozen trees adjacent to the rail lines in Chattanooga and an EAB trap located in a park near the rail hub tested positive for the insect.

“While it’s not possible to say with absolute confidence at this time where the origin of the infestation began in Chattanooga, detection surveys indicates it is located near a rail hub,” Gray Haun, TDA Plant Certification administrator said. “EAB travels on firewood and unprocessed ash materials, so it’s likely wood products already infested with the insect arrived near that vicinity.”

EAB was first discovered in Tennessee in 2010 at a truck stop along I-40 in Knox County. In addition to Knox, seventeen other counties in Tennessee including Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Greene, Grainger, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Loudon, Monroe, Roane, Sevier, Smith, and Union counties are under state and federal quarantines. Hamilton County will now be added to this list.

The EAB quarantine prohibits the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that can spread EAB. With the new discovery, citizens can expect expanded surveys and should report any symptomatic ash trees to TDA. 

“I appreciate the hard work Chattanooga’s City Forester, Gene Hyde, has put into helping TDA find this infestation,” Mr. Haun said. “We hope other cities around the state will follow Gene’s lead and be vigilant about helping to slow down the environmental and economic damage this pest can cause.”

· Leave firewood at home. Don’t transport firewood, even within the state.

· Use firewood from local sources near where you’re going to burn it, or purchase firewood that is certified to be free of pests (it will say so on the label included with the packaging).

· If you have moved firewood, burn all of it before leaving your campsite.

· Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees.  If you suspect your ash tree could be infested with EAB, visit www.tn.gov/agriculture/eab for a symptoms checklist and report form or call TDA’s Regulatory Services Division at 800 628-2631. 

For more information about EAB and other destructive forest pests in Tennessee, visit the new website: www.protecttnforests.org. The site is a multi-agency effort to inform and educate Tennesseans on the harmful impacts insects and diseases have on our trees, where the problem spots are, and what landowners can do to help protect their trees.

Other EAB information:

EAB attacks only ash trees. It is believed to have been introduced into the Detroit, Mich. area approximately 20 years ago on wood packing material from Asia. Since then, the destructive insect has killed millions of ash trees across several states including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from April until September, depending on the climate of the area. In Tennessee, most EAB adults would fly in May and June. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry estimates that five million urban ash trees in Tennessee are potentially at risk from EAB. The risk represents an estimated value loss of $2 billion. There are an estimated 261 million ash trees on Tennessee public and private timberland potentially valued as high as $9 billion. 

For more information about other programs and services of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture visit www.tn.gov/agriculture


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Brown's Ferry Kayak Tour Aug. 2 The National Park Service will join Outdoor Chattanooga for a special historical tour of Brown's Ferry by kayak on Sat., Aug. 2, beginning at 9 a.m.  Paddle the TN River around Williams Island and the entrance to the TN River Gorge while an interpretive ranger from  Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park ... (click for more)

Three Popular Waterfowl Hunting Areas Have New Regulations

Hunting regulations have been changed on Gooch Unit E, Meeman-Shelby State Park, and White Oak (Lebanon Pond area) Wildlife Management Areas.  The duck hunting on these areas, prior to the change, was on a first come first serve basis. There were not any established hunting sites and hunters could set up anywhere they wanted. This has created an overcrowded issue which ... (click for more)

Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Ron Harr on Monday outlined a $40 million plan for a Chattanooga light rail system that would serve not only downtown, but also the Airport and the Enterprise South Industrial Park. In a speech to the Chattanooga Engineers Club, Mr. Harr said most cities looking at such an ambitious plan "would be facing costs of over a billion dollars." ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Choo Choo Adding Clubs, Restaurants In $8 Million Renovation

The historic Chattanooga Choo Choo is adding clubs and restaurants in a $7 million renovation, it was announced in front of the South Market Street landmark on Monday morning. The Comedy Catch will be moving from its longtime home in Brainerd and there will be a new 500-person music venue that will be in addition to Track 29. The new venue, managed by Track 29, will feature a ... (click for more)

Senator Bob Corker: An Open Letter To Tennesseans

We are incredibly fortunate to live in a state in which companies worldwide are clamoring to establish a presence. Many attribute it to our pro-business culture, well-prepared workforce, low tax environment, right-to-work policies, and engaged citizenry.  That is why the announcement by Volkswagen to build its midsize sports utility vehicle and establish the South’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Wamp Refuses To Stoop

With less than two weeks before the Aug. 7 th election and the last week of early voting now underway in Hamilton County, Congressional challenger Weston Wamp sounded upbeat and relaxed early yesterday afternoon. “I’m pleased to say that I believe we are right where we need to be … maybe even more than we had hoped.” Wamp, who is challenging two-term incumbent Chuck Fleishmann ... (click for more)