On October 20, 2008, Cleveland Metroparks Forestry Division staff encountered the first confirmed Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation in the Park District along Big Creek Parkway south of Bagley Road. Follow-up inspections by Natural Resources Division staff determined that the infestation might span an area from Baldwin Lake northeast towards the Kiwanis Drive intersection along Big Creek parkway. In April 2008, a notable population of EAB was confirmed adjacent to Park District property in the vicinity of Brecksville and Broadview Heights near Seneca Golf Course and the Ohio Turnpike Plaza.
The USDA Forest Service has been collecting seed from all species of ash for long-term storage and future research. Cleveland Metroparks, the Holden Arboretum, Lorain County Metroparks, Lake Metroparks, and Geauga Park District are participating in the project by helping collect seed from ash trees in the region. Background information on the Forest Service's ash seed collection program can be found here.
Ohio Department of Agriculture Expands Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine - 1/14/10
Emerald Ash Borer Background
The Emerald Ash Borer is a small but destructive exotic beetle from Asia. It was first discovered in July 2002 feeding on ash trees in southeastern Michigan, probably arriving in wooden packing material at a harbor near Detroit. Evidence suggests that the Emerald Ash Borer has been established in Michigan for at least ten years. More than 3,000 square miles in southeastern Michigan are infested and more than 6 million ash trees are dead or dying from this pest.
Metallic green in color, EAB adults measure 1/2 inch in length and 1/8 wide. The average adult beetle can easily fit on a penny. Adult beetles lay eggs in the bark of any ash species (White, Green, Black, Blue), and after hatching, larvae feed in the cambium between the bark and wood. Larval feeding results in galleries that eventually girdle and kill branches and entire trees.
Emerald Ash Borer was identified in Ohio in February 2003. Since then, it has moved progressively across the state, and on October 3, 2006 the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed the presence of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Cuyahoga County. Subsequently, ODA to placed the county under EAB quarantine prohibiting the movement of harvested ash wood products, including firewood, from quarantined counties into non-quarantined counties. The Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page has up to date information and distribution maps concerning EAB in Ohio. For a national perspective on EAB, click here for information and links to many other web sites concerning this destructive pest. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services have additional information about EAB and the quarantine.
The key factor contributing to the spread of EAB is the movement of infested firewood. Cleveland Metroparks will continue to leave non-ash, wood rounds, a by-product of routine tree removal, for the general public to take and use for firewood. Other than what is provided by Cleveland Metroparks for public pick-up, firewood MAY NOT BE TRANSPORTED through Cleveland Metroparks at any time.
Do not move firewood into or through Cleveland Metroparks at any time. Enforced by Cleveland Metroparks Rangers under Park regulation 541.01
Firewood may NOT be brought into Cleveland Metroparks under Any circumstances.
Firewood, tree trimmings, and other debris may NOT be dumped in Cleveland Metroparks.
Split firewood, provided by Cleveland Metroparks at reserved facilities, nature centers and golf clubhouses may not be moved to other locations.
Don't move firewood! People unknowingly contribute to the spread of EAB when they move firewood. EAB larvae survive hidden under the bark of firewood. Play it safe: don't move any firewood and you won't move any beetles. Visually inspect your trees. Early detection is a key factor. If trees on your property display any sign or symptom of EAB infestation, contact your State agriculture agency (Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page).
Cleveland Metroparks Internal Policies regarding EAB (effective since October 2006)
Internal policies provide guidelines for park managers to slow the spread of emerald ash borer and remove infested ash trees from public facility and recreation sites while continuing Cleveland Metroparks mission of natural resource conservation.
Park District staff will inspect ash trees for signs of emerald ash borer during routine tree maintenance including pruning, dead-wooding and removal (including storm damage). Any signs of emerald ash borer will be immediately reported to the Natural Resource Division and further work on the infested tree/trees will cease immediately until the scope of the infestation is investigated.
Ash trees either pruned or felled (including storm damaged trees) in reservations, golf courses or at the Zoo will be hauled to a pre-designated holding area in the reservation where the tree was located. Tree pieces will be marked with fluorescent orange paint along the entire length of the trunk and on each end piece of wood. Ash wood will NOT be transported from one reservation to another within Cleveland Metroparks. Ash wood marked with fluorescent orange will not be mixed with non-ash firewood and logs.
Park District staff will process accumulated ash wood into wood chips less than 1" by 1" and composted as per EAB management protocol. Until the yarded ash wood is processed, it is NOT to be used for firewood, taken out of the Cleveland Metroparks by any employee or non-employee, nor used for any reason.
If ash trees or tree pieces CAN NOT be stored in a holding yard, they will be cut into pieces longer than 6 feet and scattered in the forest adjacent to where the tree was located for a minimum of 2 full (fall through summer) seasons before being pieced for firewood if necessary either for aesthetics and or debris control. Workers will chip as much of the non-trunk portion of the ash debris as possible.
Signs currently posted at picnic facilities and kiosks throughout Cleveland Metroparks have updated language to reflect new policies regarding transport of firewood through or into Cleveland Metroparks boundaries with the reasons outlined.