On Sept. 10, Commissioner Troxler signed an emergency order that expanded the emerald ash borer quarantine from a handful of infested counties within North Carolina to the entire state. This means that regulated articles may move about freely within the state and other quarantined zones, but cannot move into non-quarantined areas, such as into South Carolina. Regulated articles include the insect itself, all ash material and all hardwood firewood (pieces of wood less than 4 feet in length).
The decision to quarantine the entire state comes on the heels of emerald ash borer detections across the state, bringing the county total to 18. In 2013, emerald ash borer was found in the state for the first time in four counties: Granville, Vance, Person and Warren. In 2014, no movement of the pest was detected despite statewide trapping and surveys. This year, 14 more counties were found to have the invasive insect: Buncombe, Catawba, Durham, Franklin, Graham, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Lincoln, Madison, Orange, Wake, Wayne and Wilson.
Surveys for the emerald ash borer are ongoing. Updates to the range expansion will be announced via NCDA&CS press releases and occasional updates on this blog. If you believe you have come across an infested ash tree, report it to the NCDA&CS Plant Industry Division hotline at 1-800-206-9333 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A major part of the survey relies on reports from the field. To learn more about the emerald ash borer, visit the Forest Service’s FAQ on emerald ash borer.