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

September 07, 2010

State Expands Quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer

18 Counties Now Under State Regulation to Slow the Spread of Tree-Killing Beetle

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today added 16 counties to existing state quarantines that restrict the movement of ash trees, ash products, and firewood from all wood species to limit the potential spread of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  The quarantines are in response to new findings of EAB in the State. 

            “It is quickly becoming evident that the Emerald Ash Borer, which was first detected in New York State last year, is more widespread than originally hoped,” said Commissioner Hooker. “It is no surprise that we are finding this pest in other counties, but it is our intent to try and slow the human spread of this pest by expanding the quarantine area and regulating the movement of firewood and ash wood and nursery products in those areas. We look to our fellow New Yorkers to assist in this effort and follow the quarantine orders in the respective areas.”

            “The movement of untreated firewood and other wood products is a direct pathway by which EAB and other invasive species are able to infect new regions,” Commissioner Grannis said. “Quarantines are one of the tools New York is using to prevent the spread of EAB from the areas where the insect’s presence has been confirmed. When used in combination with other tools, such as our statewide regulations restricting the movement of firewood, we hope to slow the spread of EAB to save as many ash trees as possible, for as long as possible.”

            The Emerald Ash Borer has now been confirmed in seven counties in New York: Cattaraugus, Genesee, Greene, Livingston, Monroe, Steuben and Ulster. The expanded quarantine includes the counties where EAB has been confirmed and eleven others that are adjacent to confirmed detections both in New York, Pennsylvania and Canada, including:  Allegany, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.

            The quarantines restrict the intrastate movement of the EAB insect itself, nursery ash, green lumber and any other ash tree material, including logs, stumps, roots and branches, and wood products within and beyond, as well as into and through the quarantine areas. Because it is difficult to distinguish between species of firewood, all firewood and wood chips and bark mulch are covered by the quarantine. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is expected to issue a parallel quarantine for interstate movement in the near future.  State Agriculture and Markets’ quarantine goes into effect immediately; DEC’s quarantine goes into effect on the tenth day after being filed with the clerks of quarantined counties (approximately September 18).

EAB is a small but destructive beetle that infests and kills North American ash tree species, including green, white, black, and blue ash. The first detection of EAB in New York was in the Town of Randolph, Cattaraugus County in June 2009. Subsequent infestations have been confirmed this summer in six other counties. In addition to New York, the beetle has also been found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

New York has more than 900 million ash trees, representing about seven percent of all trees in the State. Ash is important in the manufacture of baseball bats and serves as a common shade tree in many communities.

            To help monitor for EAB, watch for signs of infestation in ash trees. Adult beetles leave distinctive D-shaped exit holes in the outer bark of the branches and the trunk. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, extensive sprouting from the roots and trunk (called "epicormic shoots"). Infested trees may also exhibit woodpecker damage from larvae extraction.  If it is suspected that an ash tree could be infested by EAB, go to or call 1-866-322-4512.

            For more information, visit the following web pages: APHIS | CAPS | DEC | Quarantine Map


2010 Press Releases