Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica A. Chittenden

July 24, 2009

State Implements Quarantine to Prevent Spread of Emerald Ash Borer

Restricts Movement of Certain Wood Products To and From Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties

            New York State is implementing a quarantine to prevent the spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a tree-killing beetle. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) are establishing a quarantine encompassing Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties that will restrict the movement of ash trees, ash products, and firewood from all wood species in order to limit the potential introduction of  EAB to other areas of the state.

            The state’s quarantine order will require restrictions on the intrastate movement of certain “regulated articles” – for instance, ash trees, certain wood products, and the Emerald Ash Borer. The order specifically defines regulated articles as:

·          Entire ash trees of any size, inclusive of nursery stock.

·          Any part of ash trees, including leaves, bark, stumps, limbs, branches, and roots.

·          Ash lumber or ash logs of any length.

·          Any item made from or containing ash wood.

·          Any article, product or means of conveyance determined by APHIS, NYSDAM or the Department to present a risk of spreading the EAB infestation.

·          Firewood from any tree species.

·          Wood chips and bark mulch from any tree species, larger than 1 inch in two dimensions, whether composted or uncomposted.

            New York’s order prohibits the movement of regulated articles within and beyond Cattaraugus and Chautauqua counties without certification or compliance agreements issued by DAM. The state order also restricts the movement of the regulated wood products into or through the quarantine district by requiring several provisions including, but not limited to documentation listing the origin and destination of shipments, and prohibiting transporters from unnecessarily stopping while traveling through the quarantine district. The full order will be posted at on the DEC website.

            The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will issue a parallel quarantine.  Currently, federal EAB quarantine areas restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles are in 12 states: Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Maryland; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Virginia; West Virginia; and Wisconsin. Federally regulated articles (which differ slightly from New York’s list above) include ash nursery stock and green lumber, any other ash material including logs, stumps, roots, branches, as well as composted and uncomposted wood chips.  Due to the difficulty in distinguishing between species of hardwood firewood, all hardwood firewood, including ash, oak, maple and hickory are federally regulated articles.

            The state’s quarantine order and emergency regulations were developed after extensive outreach and consultation with groups representing forest product manufacturers and harvesters, nurseries/landscapers, arborists, forest land owners and others potentially impacted by the decision, as well as officials from other states where quarantines have been enacted to halt the EAB’s spread. A public meeting was held in Randolph on July 14 to provide information and receive feedback from the community.

            “After assessing the current infestation and consulting with national experts, businesses, and other stakeholders, the state determined that establishing a quarantine area was the best way to protect the more than 900 million ash trees here in New York,” DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said. “We must take aggressive steps -- already EAB has infested and/or killed millions of ash trees across 13 states, as well as in southern Canada. We will continue to work closely with our partners in these efforts and to develop any further appropriate responses that could be needed as we learn more about the EAB’s presence in New York.”

            New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker said, “We will be working closely with both our federal and state cooperators in the implementation and oversight of the regulations and order regarding this pest, however, our success in slowing the spread of this destructive pest will be dependent upon the cooperation and assistance of the regulated industries and the general public.  The cooperation we have received thus far from stakeholders in the area has been extremely encouraging and appreciated.”

            Yvonne DeMarino, APHIS’s State Plant Health Director in New York, said, “Cooperation and collaboration is the cornerstone of the EAB Program. We all need to work together to support detection and control, and prevent the human-assisted spread of EAB.”

            Mike Bohne, Forest Health Group Leader for the U.S. Forest Service, said, “The Emerald Ash Borer is one of the most devastating pests that are moved by firewood. The quarantine is a very important step in protecting the ash resource in New York and New England.”

            Kevin S. King, President and CEO of the Empire State Forest Products Association, said, “White ash trees are an important part of our forest and source of lumber for baseball bats, furniture, flooring and implement handles. The health of our forests is of great concern to the men and women whose livelihoods depend on them.   The Association and its members are impressed with the efforts taken by our State agencies in response to the Randolph outbreak.  We are committed to working with the various State and Federal agencies to minimize the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer and slow its spread.”

Initial EAB Detection in New York

            Since the first EAB detection in Randolph on June 15, 2009, New York State and federal partners have identified a 10-acre infestation area that included 39 trees, all of which have since been cut and chipped. The exact cause of the Randolph infestation remains under investigation.

            A multi-agency team has been installing more than 1,300 traps on private and public lands in a seven-mile radius around Randolph. Those traps will be checked in August to determine if the infestation has expanded beyond the initial detection site. Ongoing monitoring is also taking place throughout the state as part of the 6,000-trap deployment ( scheduled prior to the Randolph detection. No other EAB infestations have been reported to date.

State Ban on Movement of Untreated Firewood

            DEC is continuing to enforce regulations that govern the movement of firewood. There is a state ban on untreated firewood entering New York and a restriction covering intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than a 50-mile radius from its source. This was enacted in 2008 as a precaution against the introduction and spread of EAB and other invasive species because of the documented risk of transmission by moving firewood. More information can be found at on the DEC website.

About the Emerald Ash Borer

            The EAB (photo: is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black and blue ash. Damage is caused by the larvae, which feed in tunnels called galleries in the phloem just below the bark. The serpentine galleries disrupt water and nutrient transport, causing branches, and eventually the entire tree, to die. Since its discovery in southeastern Michigan in 2002, the EAB is responsible for the destruction of over 70 million ash trees in the U.S. The beetle has been moving steadily outward from its first discovered infestation in Detroit, Michigan, and has now been found in 12 states and two neighboring Canadian provinces. To watch a video which answers common questions about EAB, go to:

            The EAB has metallic green wing covers and a coppery red or purple abdomen; it is small enough to fit easily on a penny. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infection include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk (called "epicormic shoots") and browning of leaves. Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction. Individual, infested trees may be treated by applying specific insecticides but this treatment may not be successful and is not environmentally appropriate to consider for infested forests or large groups of trees. 

            For more information, visit the following web pages:

            DEC and DAM entered into an agreement in 2006 to formally collaborate on invasive pest threats such as the Emerald Ash Borer.  In March 2008, the New York State Legislature amended the State Environmental Conservation Law to establish the New York Invasive Species Council to coordinate the long-term management of invasive species in the State. The Council is co-chaired by the Commissioners of DEC and DAM.


2009 Press Releases