Southern Tier counties in Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

By Kelly McCarthy

April 11, 2013 Updated Apr 11, 2013 at 9:59 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) A tree-killing insect is placing Southern Tier counties inside a quarantine area.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive Asian beetle that kills Ash trees.

One of the bugs was found in Tioga County last summer in a trap. So far, though, there are no reports showing infestation in Broome County.

Department of Environmental Conservation regulations prohibit residents from transporting ash products outside the quarantine area.

"If you have ash logs, or nursery stock, or even mulch that's made from wood chips," said Kevin Mathers of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, "You can't move that out of the quarantine area unless you get approval from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets."

Emerald Ash Borers are spread mainly through the transportation of firewood or occasionally lumber across county lines.

"The quarantine isn't perfect obviously," Mathers said. "People accidentally move it and that's usually how it shows up in a new area. So they're trying to reach out to people, educate them, you know don't move anything that is made out of ash unless it has been inspected properly."

Inspectors from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets have inspectors who determine if certain ash products are free of infection.

Mathers said residents could face a heavy fine if they're caught transporting ash products beyond the quarantine area.