What is An Emerald Ash Borer?

Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus Planipennis), is an ash tree killing insect from Asia that was first identified in Ohio in 2003. The pest has since spread from the initial detection near Toledo to all of the counties in the state. Because the EAB has established itself throughout all of Ohio, in July 2011 ODA lifted the quarantine regulations in place for emerald ash borer within the state. Ohio is still inside the Federal quarantine boundary, and the movement of EAB regulated articles cannot exit the quarantine boundaries without Federal permits.

EAB Background

The EAB is a small but destructive exotic beetle from Asia. It was first discovered in July 2002 feeding on ash trees in southeastern Michigan, probably arriving in wooden packing material at a harbor near Detroit. Evidence suggests that the EAB has been established in Michigan for at least ten years. More than 3,000 square miles in southeastern Michigan are infested and more than 6 million ash trees are dead or dying from this pest.

Metallic green in color, EAB adults measure 1/2 inch in length and 1/8 wide. The average adult beetle can easily fit on a penny. Adult beetles lay eggs in the bark of any ash species (White, Green, Black, Blue), and after hatching, larvae feed in the cambium between the bark and wood. Larval feeding results in galleries that eventually girdle and kill branches and entire trees.

EAB was identified in Ohio in February 2003. Since then, it has moved progressively across the state, and on October 3, 2006 the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed the presence of EAB in Cuyahoga County. Subsequently, ODA placed the county under EAB quarantine prohibiting the movement of harvested ash wood products, including firewood, from quarantined counties into non-quarantined counties. The Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page has up to date information and distribution maps concerning EAB in Ohio. For a national perspective on EAB, click here for information and links to many other web sites concerning this destructive pest. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services have additional information about EAB and the quarantine.

Firewood Alert

The key factor contributing to the spread of EAB is the movement of infested firewood. 

Do not move firewood into or through Richland County Park District Properties at any time. 

Firewood may NOT be brought into Richland County Park District Properties under any circumstances.

Firewood, tree trimmings, and other debris may NOT be dumped in Richland County Park District.

Don't move firewood! People unknowingly contribute to the spread of EAB when they move firewood. EAB larvae survive hidden under the bark of firewood. Play it safe: don't move any firewood and you won't move any beetles. Visually inspect your trees. Early detection is a key factor. If trees on your property display any sign or symptom of EAB infestation, contact your State agriculture agency (Ohio Department of Agriculture EAB web page).

Richland County Park District Internal Policies Regarding EAB (Effective since 2015)

Internal policies provide guidelines for park managers to slow the spread of emerald ash borer and remove infested ash trees from public facility and recreation sites while continuing Richland County Park Districts mission of natural resource conservation.

Park District staff will inspect ash trees for signs of emerald ash borer during routine tree maintenance including pruning, dead-wooding and removal (including storm damage). Any signs of emerald ash borer will be immediately reported to the Natural Resource Division and further work on the infested tree/trees will cease immediately until the scope of the infestation is investigated.

Ash trees either pruned or felled (including storm damaged trees) will be hauled to a pre-designated holding area in the park where the tree was located. Park District staff will process accumulated ash wood into wood chips less than 1" by 1" and composted.

If ash trees or tree pieces CAN NOT be stored in a holding yard, they will be cut into pieces longer than 6 feet and scattered in the forest adjacent to where the tree was located for a minimum of 2 full (fall through summer) seasons before being pieced for firewood if necessary either for aesthetics and or debris control. Workers will chip as much of the non-trunk portion of the ash debris as possible.

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About Our Parks

Our parks and staff are dedicated to education, enjoyment and preservation of Richland County's natural areas and inhabitants. Our goal is pursued by preserving natural areas for people to experience, and by providing opportunities for people of all ages to learn about the rich diversity of life and habitats in our county.

Our Location

Gorman Nature Center
2295 Lexington Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44907

Hours of Operation
Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(Closed Sunday-Monday and Federal Holidays. Trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.)

419-884-FROG (3764)

© 2015 Richland County Park District. All Rights Reserved.

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