Threat of Emerald Ash Borer

 There is another potential, and even more serious threat to ash trees in Europe – the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) or Agrilus planipennis  (a type of Jewel Beetle).  This beetle is moving westward and southward from Moscow through Russia, progressing at up to 25 miles/year.

In North America, some 7 billion ash trees are potentially under threat from EAB, which puts the UK situation into perspective. EAB attacks result in up to 100% mortality. We need to enforce strict biosecurity measures to prevent the beetle becoming established in the UK in the future.

Experts believe it has been able to travel by hitching a ride on shipping crates, which have not been properly treated with pesticides. In America, the first beetles arrived on timber pallets which were used to ship products from China to Detroit.

“It’s an unintended consequence of globalisation,” added Dr Buggs.”

“Every pallet if you’re moving stuff internationally should be treated so it’s not carrying beetles or pathogens, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. In some countries there is faking of the symbol that is supposed to be on a pallet to show it has been treated, so wood packaging is one of the means by which pests and pathogens are spreading around the world.”

Telegraph Article on Emerald Ash Borer

BBC Article on Emerald Ash Borer

Text provided by Ben Jump, retired forester/arboriculturalist based in Scotland.