Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Emerald Ash Borer Killed by Traditional Method of Storing Wood

Black ash (Fraxinus nigra) is an important tree to the American Indian and First Nations people in the Great Lakes and northeastern regions of the U.S. and the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a grave threat to centuries-old traditions, primarily basketweaving.  One of the major concerns with the insect is that it is readily spread through movement of felled trees.  However, the local people's traditional storage method of submerging black ash logs in water has proven to effectively control emerald ash borer.

Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) on ash (Fraxinus spp.) by Daniel Herms, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Researchers followed the submersion method outlined by the Match-e-be-nash-she-wish Band of Potawatomi Indians of Michigan.  Using infested logs, researchers varied the length of submersion time and the time of year to find if this is a treatment option.  Researchers found that submerging logs in a river for 18 weeks in the winter or 14 weeks in the spring kills emerald ash borers and the resulting logs are still usable for basketweaving.  Interestingly, the winter time required is longer due to the insect overwintering in a dormant state.

Source Article: Basketmakers' tradition of storing black ash logs in water effective in killing emerald ash borer
Emerald ash borer images: Agrilus planipennis
Emerald ash borer BugwoodWiki: Agrilus planipennis
Black ash images: Fraxinus nigra