Georgia sets quarantine for 11 counties to contain Emerald Ash Borer

To prevent further spread of Emerald Ash Borer, the state of Georgia issued a quarantine in August, restricting the transportation of certain products outside of the quarantined area.

Emerald Ash Borer David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

Emerald Ash Borer
David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

An exotic invasive native to Asia, EAB is a small, oblong emerald colored beetle. It lives in Georgia from March to November, when adult beetles emerge from ash trees and females lay eggs on ash tree bark. The larvae then burrow into and feed on the inner bark until the following spring. The feeding disrupts the trees’ ability to feed itself, so it dies. The insect has no natural predators, and its rapid reproduction makes the use of insecticides expensive and futile.

While the EAB can fly to other areas, its flying range is limited. State officials are trying to limit the spread of human-assisted transportation. Several states now have quarantines for EAB infected areas; Georgia’s quarantine is one of the most recent.

As of August 11, 2014, the following counties are included in the quarantine:

  • Clayton
  • Cobb
  • Dekalb
  • Fayette
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett
  • Henry
  • Newton
  • Rockdale
  • Walton
  • Whitfield

With the quarantine:

  • Ash materials and products within quarantined areas may be moved within the quarantined areas.
  • Anyone shipping ash products from a quarantined area must obtain a Compliance Agreement. Each load of ash products must be accompanied by a Certificate (see the Georgia Forestry Commission for links to these documents)
  • In the northern region, untreated ash materials from quarantined areas can be moved outside of a quarantined area ONLY from November 1 to March 1, and each load must be accompanied by the appropriate documentation.
  • In the southern region, untreated ash materials from quarantined areas cannot ever be moved outside the quarantined areas.

If you are visiting or camping in a quarantined area and purchase or procure firewood from that area, you must NOT remove it from the area. If you have brought hardwood firewood with you that is not treated, you also must NOT remove it from the area.

Firewood can be removed only if it has been treated by one of the following methods:

  1. Debarked and removal of additional ½ inch of wood
  2. Kiln dried
  3. Fumigated
  4. Heat treated

Firewood must be bundled and each bundle must have a unique Certificate to verify it has been properly treated.

The following items are also subject to the restrictions listed above:

  • The Emerald Ash Borer in any life stage
  • Firewood of all hardwood species
  • Ash nursery stock
  • Green ash lumber
  • Any material from any species of ash tree

For more detailed explanation of the quarantine, in addition to the Certificates and Limited Permits, go to http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/forest-management/forest-health/eab/index.cfm.

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