F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R

Agrilus planipennis

Welcome to the first edition of the
Central New York Emerald Ash Borer Newsletter!

This monthly CNY EAB newsletter will serve as a way to keep the lines of communication open among all EAB task force members, organizations, municipalities, and residents. This newsletter will contain news on research, projects, grant opportunities, and questions sent in by you. 

Please browse some of the recent happenings below. And as always, keep in touch and stay involved. 
The Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
Many of us know that the EAB continues to spread its devastation on Ash species in our region. Unfortunately, there have been several new infestations found within the past couple of months. NYS DEC has identified these new infestations, putting EAB north and northeast of the initial find from East Syracuse.  Additional new finds have been confirmed in the Montezuma area and Rome area.  The map below depicts the new finds around Syracuse and Montezuma.  Click here for a full sized image. Click here for a map of Rome confirmed infestations. 


Pictured above is an ash tree with visible flecking by woodpeckers. This tree is located in Minoa. Trees in similar conditions can seen throughout the county; many along Kirkville Road, Taft Road East, Fremont Road, and Onondaga Lake Parkway. Photos are courtesy of Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Treatments and Removals

Onondaga County Office of the Environment and the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District: To date, about 1,100 ash trees have been cut from County Highway Right-of-Ways in the Towns of DeWitt and Manlius, a pump station and waste water treatment plant in the Town of Manlius, and in Onondaga Lake Park.  Ash tree cuts will continue through early spring to include more trees in Onondaga Lake Park, and possibly Hopkins Road Park.

Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District is partnering with CCE Onondaga to organize a tree planting event for this Spring to help replace some of those trees lost to EAB.  Volunteers from FFA, Future Farmers of America, will help plant 125 trees in Onondaga Lake Park on May 5th as an effort to restore canopy that was lost due to EAB in the park.  We would like to thank the Onondaga County Legislature and the Onondaga County Executive for their continued support for this project through $750,000 in funding for ash tree cuts, injections, and tree plantings for 2016-17. - Travis Glazier, Director, Onondaga County Office of the Environment

City of Syracuse: This summer the city will treat 25 previously untreated trees as well as retreat 160 trees greater than 22". The City of Syracuse plans to treat an additional 730 trees next year, those of 22" or less. - Steve Harris, City Arborist, Syracuse Parks

Town of DeWitt: Has removed roughly 50 ash trees that were in poor condition. In 2014, the Town of DeWitt treated 205 ash trees in the Right-Of-Way and in parks, totaling 2697 total inches. In 2015, another 5 trees were treated, totaling 49 inches. The Town of DeWitt plans to treat 100 trees this year. - Christine Manchester, Naturalist and Sustainability Coordinator, Town of DeWitt

Village of Fayetteville: There are a total of 38 ash trees in the village, 8 of which were removed and 30 were treated. - Pat Tobin, Chairman of the Fayetteville Tree Commission

Research Updates from SUNY - ESF 

Where are the parasitoids today?  PhD student, Mike Jones, working alongside Melissa Fierke, at SUNY - ESF, replied "We are continuing to study and determine the phenology of EAB and the introduced larval parasitoids in the northeast.  Currently, we are conducting experiments in growth chambers, programmed to reflect temperature data we collected last summer. It is currently June in the growth chambers and we are waiting for emergence of the first generation.  We will soon start collecting and peeling ash from several woodlots in the Syracuse area to document EAB phenology." Mike stated that they have better control in the lab and can make better observations on the parasitoid development than in the field. But, they confirm their lab findings with those of field finding; they need to make sure that the same patterns exist in the lab as it does in the field. Below are photos of lab observations. 

The photo on the left shows the Spathius, parasitoid larva, indicated with black dotted lines. The middle photo shows the head capsule of the EAB larva, circled, which is the only body part remaining after the parasitoid larvae eats the EAB larva. The photo on the right shows the Spathius pupae in cocoons, where the EAB larva used to be.

Want to learn more about Mike's research? Check out the article.
Dangers of the Emerald Ash Borer –
Through the Lens of an Arborist

Hearing about a natural disaster and experiencing it are two very different things.  When it impacts you directly, it can change the  way you live your life, the way you manage your business, career, and family.
I first heard of Emerald Ash Borer more than a decade ago.  But it was out in the Mid-West, hundreds of miles from my operation. It was far from my concern.  We cut down thousands of trees a year, so how was a couple more going to affect us?
My transition from hearing of this invasive species disaster to actually experiencing the disaster began in the summer of 2009.  EAB was identified in Randolph, NY.  It was now a little closer to home. I watched the Chicken Little scurry around, but I decided to wait for the data to come in.  It turned out that only a dozen or so infested trees were found and there was no other known infested ash populations within a 10 mile radius.  This created no worry for me, at least, not yet.
Emerald Ash Borer pushed its way into my profession in seminars and conversations with my counterparts.  There was great information at these presentations, but I was still not making this bug my personal disaster.  A presentation from a utility arborist out in Michigan changed my perspective on things.  The utility company had been dealing with EAB since Day One.  He knew that the true risk associated with an EAB-killed tree was not from wires and poles, but the true risk was to the arborists. Decayed ash trees can collapse while being climbed or rigged, causing harm to the arborists.  There were enough accidents and injuries in my profession already, that we did not need the added threat of EAB.
The following spring, 2010, I received an email from Jessi Lyons with Cornell Cooperative Extension looking to create a local EAB Taskforce.  The taskforce would bring many local players together to discuss mutual concerns, learn from each other, and to assist with EAB monitoring.  My association with the Taskforce has been the greatest resource for local information and coordination. I strongly suggest, to the concerned reader, to get involved with your local one.  Through the Taskforce’s efforts, the first identification of EAB infested ash came in 2013.  An infestation that was 5 to 6 years old.  Whoops!  A little late, but it was time to get rolling - Jim Maloney, Arborist, National Grid

Click here to continue reading.
Response to Dangers of Emerald Ash Borer article: Jim’s article brings up an interesting perspective: If it took an arborist, working front and center of EAB, almost 10 years to realize the hazards of EAB, how long does it take municipal officials and residents to move into action? The dangers of EAB and negative impact to our ecosystems and infrastructure from the loss of ash trees are tangible and imminent. Do we lessen the impact of a natural disaster by acting proactively or do we react to when ash trees start falling on school buses, similarly to what happened in Ohio? What are we waiting for? So, I pose this question to you, how do we increase the social awareness of the consequences of not doing anything? - Kim Zhang, CCE Onondaga  

As with any business, knowing what your assets, inventory and liabilities are is an important, if not critical need to run your operations effectively, efficiently and profitably.  The utility business is no different.  We have numerous systems that let us know how many poles, transformers, meters and wire we have…out in the field and in the various warehouses.  We know what and where our customer base is and what their powers needs and demands are.  We know what and where our trucks are and who our employees are and their skills.  But what do you do about trees that are all over the place, in different sizes, locations, conditions and species that can fail for any number of reasons and cause you and your customer’s major headaches …and usually at the worst of times?

In the summer of 2015, National Grid contracted to have a detailed sampling done of the ‘utility forest’ along over 36,500 miles of our upstate New York overhead distribution electric system.  Almost 800 random one mile long transects were sampled; transects of trees along both sides of our overhead lines, including trees beyond the maintained corridor that could potentially strike our lines, should they fail.  Around 5,000,000 trees were surveyed!  So what did we find out, and how does that relate to EAB? - Brian Skinner, Arborist, National Grid

here to continue reading
Question Send-Ins 

Joan Hagenzieker here from Erie Village in Manlius.  I am concerned about whether or not to inject our 78 ash trees this season.  We treated trees two years ago and originally planned on injecting every other year, but now I am hearing rumors about injecting trees every three years, even though the Arbor Jet label says repeat every two years.  I am responsible for my budget and am really not sure how to proceed. Please advise.      
Question Responses 
The City of Syracuse will retreat ash trees 22" diameter and greater after 2 years and will treat trees 21" diameter and less after 3 years. Research is showing that treatment with emamectin benzoate is providing up to 3 years of protection. While the label recommends treatment every two years, we feel that treating every 3 years will provide effective control while EAB population is low. Parks is more selective about what we are retreating. We are removing trees that we initially treated (about 2% of the treated population). These include trees that have:
  1. some kind of damage to the trunk, usually a canker of some kind, or are not showing aggressive wound wood growth around the damage
  2. borderline canopy health to begin with (partly due to impact of flower mite) and did not look any better the year following the condition
  3. new woodpecker damage in upper canopy observed this winter
  4. badly heaved the sidewalk  
- Steve Harris, Syracuse City Parks

The label of both TreeAge and the new product, Arbormectin, both state 2 years of protection. Yet when you dig into it they also state 90% effective. Does that mean 90% of all trees injected or 90% of each individual tree, 10% decline? My point is that the manufacturer may not yet have enough information yet to make really positive statements. I think the "rumor" equals a gamble, stretching the budget out. It may work well for 3 years on a young, vigorous, small diameter tree, but not on an older, established tree. I suggest Joan to consider taking some "crowded" trees down and injecting others. The budget will need to increase as the stem diameters increase, so phasing some out may be a management tool to use.  

- Steve Blair, Bartlett Tree Experts
You can find the link to the Urban and Community Forestry Grant through NYS DEC. It has not been announced yet, but something for communities interested in restoring their urban tree canopy to be on the lookout for. 

Onondaga Soil and Water Conservation District received $5000 from the FL-PRISM for the 2015_2016 season to inject ash trees in Onondaga County. Eva Sztechmiler will be presenting their work at the FL-PRISM spring partnership meeting on April 8th at the Montezuma Audubon Center. For more information about the spring meeting, the lineup is available here
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