Information on emerald ash borer

CAPITOL LETTERS

BY STATE REPRESENTATIVE DAN A. HUSEMAN

R-District 3, Aurelia

There was very little floor debate this week as most of the policy bills for this year have already been dealt with. There are several major pieces of legislation that are awaiting debate, but it is still unclear if they have enough “yes” votes to secure passage. Both Republicans and Democrats spent many hours in caucus this week.

One bill would prohibit the sale or donation of fetal tissue in Iowa, and would  not allow an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Another bill prohibits local entities from refusing to comply with a written federal detainer request for a person in their custody, who is in the country illegally. This is also known as the Sanctuary City Bill.  Both of these issues are garnering a lot of discussion, and we should know their fate in the next two weeks.  Both bills are ready for floor debate but if they lack the votes for passage, they will most likely be finished for the year.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture issued a statement this week regarding emerald ash borers and I thought the following information might be useful to some people.

“DES MOINES – Emerald ash borer (EAB), an invasive insect that kills ash trees, has been detected for the first time in Marshall and Tama Counties. The discoveries were the result of a landowner who noticed tell-tale woodpecker damage on his ash trees. Further investigation by authorities resulted in the collection of EAB larvae from the trees. Both county detections occurred in a rural area north of Le Grand.

Native to eastern Asia, EAB has decimated tens of millions of ash trees since it was accidently introduced in the U.S. in the Detroit area in 2002. First detected in Iowa in 2010, EAB has been confirmed in 55 Iowa counties. Since the beetle only travels short distances on its own, humans serve as the primary vector for expanding its range. The most common mode of transport for this pest is through movement of firewood. The Iowa EAB Team strongly urges Iowans to use locally sourced firewood, burning it in the same county where it was purchased. 

EAB larvae kill ash trees by tunneling under the bark and feeding on the part of the tree that moves nutrients up and down the trunk. EAB-infested ash trees can include branch dieback in the upper crown, water sprouts along the trunk and main branches, vertical bark splits, D-shaped emergence holes, S-shaped tunneling under loose bark, as well as woodpecker damage.

If you suspect EAB as an introduction to your area, please contact one of the following:

• Iowa Dept. of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, State Entomologist Office: 515-725-1470

• Iowa Department of Natural Resources: 515-725-8453

• Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Entomology: 515-294-1101

If a landowner is interested in protecting a valuable and healthy ash tree within 15 miles of a known infestation, the treatment window for protecting an ash tree begins very soon. Soil treatments should be made from mid-April to mid-May. Basal trunk sprays should be applied mid-May to mid-June. Trunk injections begin once the tree has a full canopy. Full details are available in Iowa State University Extension and Outreach publication PM2084: https://store.extension.iastate.edu/product/13114

To learn more about EAB and view maps of its distribution, please visit www.IowaTreePests.com.

For more information contact any of the following members of the Iowa EAB Team:

• Mike Kintner, IDALS EAB coordinator, 515-745-2877, Mike.Kintner@IowaAgriculture.gov

• Robin Pruisner, IDALS state entomologist, 515-725-1470, Robin.Pruisner@IowaAgriculture.gov

• Jeff Goerndt, DNR state forester, 515-725-8452, Jeff.Goerndt@dnr.iowa.gov

• Emma Hanigan, DNR urban forestry coordinator, 515-249-1732, Emma.Hanigan@dnr.iowa.gov

• Jesse Randall, ISU Extension and Outreach forester, 515-294-1168, Randallj@iastate.edu

• Mark Shour, ISU Extension and Outreach entomologist, 515-294-5963, mshour@iastate.edu

• Laura Iles, ISU Extension and Outreach entomologist, ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, 515-294-0581, ljesse@iastate.edu

• Donald Lewis, ISU Extension and Outreach entomologist, 515-294-1101, drlewis@iastate.edu.

• Jeff Iles, ISU Extension and Outreach horticulturist, 515-294-3718, iles@iastate.edu

The House and Senate are very close to agreement as to how much money can be spent for the FY 19 budget. This is good news, and with a new tax reform bill ready for discussion, there is now light at the end of the tunnel for closing down this session.

You may reach me at the Capitol during the week by phoning me at 515-281-3221, or at home is 712-434-5880. You may write me at the State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319. My home address is P. O. Box 398, Aurelia, IA 51005. If you have email, please contact me at dan.huseman@legis.iowa .gov.