Emerald Ash Borer presence confirmed in Wood County
By Rapids City Times staff
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Wood County Park & Forestry officials have confirmed the presence of Emerald Ash Borer in Wood County.
“EAB was first discovered in Wisconsin around 2008 near West Bend,” said Wood County Forest Administrator Fritz Schubert. “They have been spreading across the state and were found in Wisconsin Rapids a couple years ago. I found the first suspicious site on the Wood County Forest in December 2018.”
Schubert said that it was confirmed by a DNR Forest Health Specialist in April 2019, at a location “approximately two miles northwest of Dexterville, also one mile south of Pittsville.”
Schubert added that the insect’s presence may affect the value of timber harvest from lands with significant ash content and urban locations may see the affects as street trees are infested.
But Schubert said that Wood County Forest revenue and habitat should not feel the effects “as our county forest composition contains a very small percentage of ash,” he said, and that it will “become most noticeable in creek and river bottoms where most of the ash on county forest lands exists. Our (Wood) County parks in the northern part of the county contain a greater percentage of ash species, and therefore may become more of a management issue there, especially at Powers Bluff County Park.”
He added that forest land owners should contact professional foresters to use harvesting and other means to minimize loss.
“Yard trees can be protected through application of a variety of systemic insecticides,” Schubert said. “If yard trees are close to houses, garages, etc. it would be wise to plan for removal or protection now.”
Things to watch for in the presence of EAB are: an extreme amount of woodpecker damage to tree, thinning of the tree crown from the top, 1/8-inch, and D-shaped exit holes.
Approximately 50 Wisconsin counties have confirmed the presence of EAB.
To learn more, Schubert recommends starting at the Wisconsin DNR website.” Navigate to forestry page, then to forest health, click on Emerald Ash Borer link,” he said. “People can also call their local DNR Plant Pest Disease Specialist if they think they may have infested ash trees – closest one is Alexandra Feltmeyer who works out of the Plover, Wisconsin Ranger Station. Lastly, do not move firewood around or out of the state. Although this insect is spreading, it does not make any sense to increase its rate of spread unnecessarily.”