Restrictions on the movement of firewood and tree debris within Missouri have ended now that the emerald ash borer has been found in Jackson County and other new locations.
On the flip side, anyone wanting to haul ash wood and wood products out of Missouri must check first with plant protection authorities at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Previously, only 10 of the state’s 114 counties were under quarantine, mostly in the southeast quadrant. Now the entire state is.
The Missouri Department of Agriculture’s decision to go for a statewide quarantine came after a survey this summer found emerald ash borers “in new, disparate locations,” including Jackson County.
Across the state line, Wyandotte and Johnson counties are also under quarantine, but most of Kansas is not.
Locally, the tree-killing beetle was first detected in the summer of 2012 in Platte County.
That led to quarantines in Clay and Platte counties. Authorities prohibited tree debris in the Northland from being hauled to dump sites south of the Missouri River.
To accommodate Kansas City, North, residents, the city opened a new dump site there earlier this year. Even if a statewide quarantine hadn’t been issued, those restrictions would no longer be necessary because of the insect’s spread to Jackson County, Kansas City parks superintendent Forest Decker said.
“North stuff doesn’t have to stay north anymore,” Decker said.
That’s the upside for commercial and city tree trimmers, who work on both sides of the river. But the insect’s spread is not good news in a metro area where ashes makes up a sizable percentage of the tree canopy.
To monitor the spread, Decker said, local, state and federal officials will continue to trap insects and take other steps to slow the infestation.