Officials: City ready for ash borerThis week marks the first emerald ash borer awareness week for North Dakota, Jamestown is ready for the invasive pest, local officials say.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
This week marks the first emerald ash borer awareness week for North Dakota, Jamestown is ready for the invasive pest, local officials say.
“We’re accomplishing what we want, we’re getting more eyes out there and more people aware,” said Vern Quam, Jamestown city forester.
The borer beetle can easily fit on a penny and is capable of wiping out the nearly 13,000 green ash trees in the Jamestown area once it becomes established.
Quam and Lance Brower, NDSU extension agent, have conducted first detector classes for those interested in spotting signs of the pest.
So far about 25 people in the Jamestown area have been certified by Brower, who is one of two nationally accredited instructors in North Dakota.
“This class has been important enough that we’ve had people come from Valley City and as far away as Wahpeton participate in this training,” Brower said.
Quam has even been in the schools educating fourth graders about EAB and what to look for.
EAB has been found in Minneapolis but so far it has been contained. It has also been found in 16 states and two Canadian providences.
“I feel we’re better prepared (than two years ago) but when it comes — it’s going to be tragic,” Quam said.
As part of EAB awareness week signs have been posted in public parks, Quam and Brower encourage people who use the parks to stop and take a minute to read the sign.
“We’re getting people aware of it,” Quam said. “Luckily we haven’t had any indication it has moved.”
EAB larvae can lie dormant in green ash for 18 months before any signs are shown. But indicators include dying branches at the top of the tree and increased woodpecker activity.
As the invasive species spreads, the tree dies from the top to the bottom as no water can move up the tree and no nutrients can move down.
The easiest way to prevent the spread of EAB is not to move firewood across state lines or, if necessary, make sure the wood is debarked before transporting it.
So far in Minneapolis the forestry department has kept the pest contained and quarantined to the area affected, but it will still likely move west.
When the EAB makes it to Jamestown, Quam hopes for a quick detection to limit the impact.
“It’s so much nicer to be this far ahead and have it not even in the state yet,” Quam said.
The duo plans to offer more first detector classes and those interested can reach Quam at City Hall at 252-5900 or Brower at 252-9030.
They also will inspect any ash trees in the area where infestation is suspected.
“If you think you got it, contact you’re city forester or county agent,” Quam said.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com