The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biological Control Facility continues to seek landowners to donate living green ash trees to support production of parasites that combat the emerald ash borer.
“A vital part of our program is to harvest green ash trees infested with the emerald ash borer,” said Paul Nelson, field team-leader at the emerald ash borer biological-control rearing facility at USDA’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service in Brighton, Michigan. “Harvesting the wood allows us to capture the beetle in its adult form, which is then used to replicate populations of the parasites.”
The biological control facility uses trees between 8 inches and 20 inches in diameter at breast height to support its production process. The facility needs green ash trees only. It also needs trees that are still living. Ash trees can show signs of decline but shouldn’t be completely dead. Nelson will conduct landowner site visits after leaves have budded in spring.
“Our focus area looks to be properties in southeastern and eastern Wisconsin, north up to the Green Bay area,” he said. “If the site meets most of our criteria, I would return in late summer to peel back bark of trees one by one. That is the emerald ash borer larval-evaluation method we use to determine infestation levels. We mark each tree to be harvested based on that methodology.”
The USDA subcontracts and pays for the harvests. Sites also are remediated to the best of a contractor’s ability to pre-harvest conditions, Nelson said.
The USDA requests donations of 25 or more ash trees. It will harvest trees weekdays. Contact Paul.M.Nelson@aphis.usda.gov or 734-732-0025 for more information.