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Emerald ash borer arrival in Oregon will bring changes to NW streams and urban forests

The long-anticipated arrival in Oregon this summer of the destructive emerald ash borer sharpens concerns about the impacts to urban forests, wetlands and streams.

Wyatt Williams is the Oregon Department of Forestry's Invasive Species Specialist. He helped collaborate on the state's response plan to emerald ash borer (EAB), published in March 2021. And for the past couple years he has been managing a federal grant to try and save the gene pool of the state's only native ash species ahead of a pest that could wipe it out.

“Since it was first found in the Detroit, Michigan area back in 2002, EAB has become the most destructive and costliest forest pest ever to invade North America," said Williams. “This little insect (it's only half an inch long and an eighth of an inch wide) has spread to 35 states and five Canadian provinces, killing up to 99 percent of their ash trees in some locations. At least five ash species native to the central U.S. have become critically endangered as EAB spreads across the country killing hundreds of millions of urban and wild ash trees."

Read more about the emerald ash borer's arrival.

Detailed information about the emerald ash borer:

Datos forestales acerca del barrenador esmeralda del fresno:

About the Forest Health Unit

The Forest Health Unit helps maintain and improve the health of Oregon's private and state-owned forests.

Our forest health professionals conduct aerial and ground surveys to monitor forest insects and tree diseases. They provide technical advice and training in the use of integrated pest management principles to help professional foresters and landowners meet their management goals and objectives.

Stewardship foresters, urban foresters, forest entomologists and pathologists can help landowners identify forest pest problems and develop strategies to manage pests. Contact a stewardship forester or the Forest Health Unit for more information.

View more information about the unit.

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Saving Oregon Ash video

For the past few years ODF's Forest Health team has been working with scientists from the USDA Forest Service on a first-of-its-kind effort to save as much of the gene pool of the Oregon ash tree from the expected ravages of the emerald ash borer. The borer is an invasive insect pest first seen in Oregon in summer 2022 that could nearly wipe out this tree as it has done to other ash species in the central and eastern U.S. Seed from throughout the Oregon range of our native ash species is being collected for long-term storage at two USDA Forest Service locations - Dorena Genetic Research Center in Cottage Grove and the National Seed Lab in Fort Collins, Colorado. Watch why this effort is so important to the future of Oregon wetlands and streamside woodlands.

 

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