Forestry News

WHAT IS THE EMERALD ASH BORER? 

Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, a beetle native to Asia, was first detected in Michigan in 2002.  Evidence suggests that the beetle was established in Michigan for a number of years prior to its discovery.  Emerald ash borer has since been detected in Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Maryland, and Ontario, Canada.  In addition to spreading by natural means, emerald ash borer can be transported to new areas in infested firewood, timber and nursery stock.  The beetle is responsible for the loss of more than 7 million ash trees in Michigan alone.

In North America, emerald ash borer is known to infest all species of ash (Fraxinus spp.).  Ash can be recognized by the presence of compound leaves which are arranged opposite of one another on the branches.

Eggs are laid between layers of bard and in bark crevices.  Larvae hatch in about one week and bore into the tree where they feed on the inner bard and ploem, creating “S”-shaped galleries.  The larvae go through three feeding stages, and then excavate a pupal chamber in the fall, where they will overwinter as prepupae.  Pupation occurs in late spring, and adults begin to emerge through “D”-shaped exit holes in May and early June.  Adults will remain active until the end of summer.

New infestations are difficult to detect as damage to the tree may not be apparent for up to three years.  Signs of older infestation can include branch dieback int he upper crown, excessive epicormic branching on the tree trunk, vertical bark slips and woodpecker damage.

Ash may also be stressed by drought, diseases such as ash yellows and by native insects like the redheaded ash borer, Neoclytus acuminatus, (Fabricius) which creates a round emergence hole.

It is important to note that exotic pests such as the emerald ash borer can be spread when infested firewood is transported to new areas.  To protect our forests and trees and stop the movement of exotic pests, use local firewood, do not bring firewood from home and if you have already transported firewood, do not take it home, do not leave it, burn it!  Do Not Move Firewood!The Rolling Stones’ Forestry ConnectionFrom “The Ticker” (Produced by Pennsylvania Forest Products Association):
Pennsylvania Game Commission Reports Increase in Deer HarvestsPennsylvania’s buck harvest increased 9% and the overall deer harvest was up 6% in the 2016-2017 seasons, which closed in January, the Pennsylvania Game Commission reported.

Hunters harvested an estimated 333,254 deer in 2016-2017 – an increase of about 6% compared to the 2015-2016 harvest of 315,813.  Of those, 149,460 were antlered deer – an increase of about 9% compared to the previous license year, when an estimated 137,580 bucks were taken.  It’s the largest harvest of antlered deer since 2002.

Hunters also harvested an estimated 183,794 antlerless deer in 2016-2017, which represents about a 3% increase compared to the 178,233 antlerless deer taken in 2015-2016.  Bowhunters accounted for nearly 33% of the overall deer harvest, taking 109,250 deer (59,550 bucks and 49,700 does) with archery tackle.  Meanwhile, 20,409 deer (1,350 bucks and 19,059 does) were harvested during muzzleloader seasons.

The percentage of older bucks in the harvest remained high, with 56% of bucks taken by Pennsylvania hunters during the 2016-2017 deer seasons being 2 1/2 years old or older.  In 2015-2016, 59% of bucks in the harvest were 2 1/2 years old or older.

Did you know?….A survey of 88% of respondents indicated that they understood, retained or used information better when they read print on paper compared to lower percentages (64% and less) when reading on electronic devices…..In 2014, 2.5 million households across the country used wood or wood pellets as the main source of home heating.  That’s 24 percent more than the 1.9 million households in 2005….Nine of PA’s ten largest cities have more pensioners than workers….Because of the fracking revolution, the US is now the world’s leading gas producer, supplying one-fifth of the world’s natural gas (Real Clear Markets)….