Despite efforts to keep it out of Wisconsin, the Emerald Ash Borer has made its first appearance here.
Jane Larson with the Department of Ag, Trade, and Consumer Protection says forest health specialists found the insect on a private wood lot near the Village of Newburg in Ozaukee County. The specialists were called in after the owner reported dying ash trees on the property.
Larson says work is already underway to determine if this is an isolated incident or if EAB has spread to surrounding areas. That work could result in a quarantine on wood products and lumber out of Ozaukee County and possibly surrounding areas.
Forestry officials estimate there are over 732 million ash trees in the state that could be at risk from the tree killing beetle. Over 5 million of those are located in urban areas across Wisconsin.
Larson says efforts to prevent the spread of EAB will continue. Those include restrictions on bringing firewood from out of state into Wisconsin, and requiring wood burned at state camp grounds to be grown within 50 miles of that area.