SPARTA — White County is the latest in Tennessee – and the 10th in the Upper Cumberland – to be quarantined for an invasive pest targeting ash trees.
Officials Tuesday said they have detected Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in the county’s eastern section. An adult EAB beetle was recently captured in a trap near Old Railroad Grade Road. With this discovery, White County joins 48 other counties in quarantine with a prohibition on the movement of ash trees and ash tree products – in the Upper Cumberland, others include Clay, Cumberland, Fentress, Jackson, Macon, Overton, Pickett, Putnam and Smith.
EAB is a destructive forest pest that was introduced from Asia into the United States in the 1990s. It was first detected in Tennessee in July 2010. EAB beetles can kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation.
Humans tend to contribute to the spread of EAB, unknowingly transporting the insects through infested nursery stock, firewood, unprocessed saw logs, and other ash products.
Citizens should report any symptomatic ash trees to TDA and follow these simple rules:
- Don’t transport any firewood, even within the state
- Use firewood from local sources near where it will be burned
- If you purchase firewood, make sure that it is labeled and certified to be pest free
- Watch for signs of infestation in your ash trees. A list of symptoms can be found at www.tn.gov/agriculture/topic/ag-businesses-eab
TDA’s Division of Forestry estimates that there are 261 million ash trees on public and private land in Tennessee, potentially valued as high as $9 billion.