EAB Identified In Lincoln County For The First Time, Continues Spread Into Northern Wisconsin

By Linda Williams, WI DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff
Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665

Emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to spread into areas of Northern Wisconsin and was detected for the first time in Lincoln County, in the Town of Harrison and the City of Tomahawk. EAB was first identified in Wisconsin in 2008, only 14 years ago. It is now in 62 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

S-shaped markings in an ash tree trunk where a hatchet has removed the bark.

S-shaped galleries under the bark of this ash were created by EAB larvae. You can also see epicormic branches (water sprouts) coming out of the trunk. These are a sign of significant stress in the tree. Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

EAB was federally deregulated as of January 2021, and Wisconsin instituted a state-wide quarantine in 2018. Therefore, there are no regulatory changes due to the recent Lincoln County find.

It takes fewer EAB larvae to attack and kill a black ash tree than it does for green ash or white ash. This means that black ash will have fewer galleries, or tunnels, under the bark and consequently less woodpecker flecking. With higher concentrations of black ash in northern Wisconsin, it’s essential to keep an eye out for EAB.

A screenshot of the Wisconsin EAB Detections Look-Up Tool shows a Wisconsin map with highlighted areas to depict where EAB has been reported or detected.

The Wisconsin EAB Detections Look-Up Tool is continuously updated. (Screenshot from 3/8/2022.) Photo Credit: Wisconsin DATCP

There are still many areas of Northern Wisconsin that do not have EAB yet or where EAB has only been found in the last 3-5 years. The interactive Wisconsin EAB Detections Look-Up Tool can show you areas with confirmed EAB. You can also use the tool to report new detections at the municipal or township level. Contact your local forest health specialist if you know of an infested area not highlighted on the map.

All forest sites are a bit different, and it can be overwhelming to try to decide what management, if any, to do to your stand. The DNR created Emerald Ash Borer Silviculture Guidelines to help landowners make decisions about the management of their woods. If you would like further guidance, please contact your local forester for help deciding what would work best to achieve your goals on your land.

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