WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Macomb

May 24, 2018

The city said the EAB infestation was found on the 300 block of North Johnson Street, and that the Illinois Department of Agriculture has confirmed it.

In a news release, the city said Urban Forestry Instructor Paul Blome of Western Illinois University surveyed the tree early this month after being contacted by a resident. Blome then called in City Forester Skip Bowles, who sent samples to the state ag department.

Public Works Director Scott Coker told TSPR the city knew it was just a matter of time before the destructive insect appeared in Macomb

“It’s been all around the city and throughout much of the state so we expected it,” said Coker, adding the city took some steps in advance of its arrival.

“About two or three years ago, the city forester – Tim Howe at the time – went around and audited all the ash trees that we have in the city.  (He) selected some for removal, some to be treated with pesticide, and then some to just be on their own.”

He said the city is getting the word out so residents are aware of the problem.  He said the city will immediately burn any ash wood brought to the yard waste site but he said there is not much the city can do to prevent the EAB from spreading.

Coker said ash trees account for a bit less than 7% of the city’s tree canopy.

The Emerald Ash Borer’s larvae feast on the trunks of ash trees, cutting off the tree’s ability to transport water and other nutrients.  It’s been found in 33 states in the U.S. plus three Canadian provinces.