Landscape Architect & Specifier News

JAN 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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January 2018 89 I n f o r m a t i o n R e q u e s t # 5 8 0 EAB Found in Eau Claire County, Wis. On December 5, the emerald ash borer (EAB) was found on the University of Wisconsin-Eau Clair campus. Eau Claire county now joins 47 other quarantined counties in the United States that are affected by the EAB and, as a result, private citizens cannot take firewood from the area to a nonquarantined area. Furthermore, any businesses handling a wood product must work with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) to ensure their products are free of the pest. The EAB is sometimes referred to as a jewel beetle or a metallic wood- boring beetle because of its bright and glossy color. It is originally native to northeastern Asia and is thought to have been introduced into the U.S. in overseas shipping materials, such as packing crates. This pest can have devastating effects on all types of ash trees, as a fully grown, untreated and infested ash tree can die within 10 years. The USDA states, on a dedicated EAB website, that the pest has "killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America and cost municipalities, property owners, nursery operators and forest product industries hundreds of millions of dollars." It is not the adult EABs that cause a tree to die, but rather their larvae, as the larvae are laid inside the phloem of an ash tree and essentially choke the tree of water and nutrients. What tipped experts off to the EAB being in Eau Claire was the noticeable amount of woodpecker activity on three specific ash trees near the Haas Fine Arts center on the campus of UW-Eau Claire. Because woodpeckers love to eat the larvae from an infected tree, this observation, along with the EAB being found in neighboring counties, was a good indicator of the presence of EAB in the area. For more information, visit emeraldashborer.info. Severe Drought in Texas?!? Just three months after Hurricane Harvey, during which Texas saw historic amounts of rainfall and flooding, the Texas Water Development Board reported in its weekly water report (Dec. 11) that 37% of Texas is experiencing severe drought conditions. This number is up from just 2.5% last month. Last year at this time only 14% of Texas was in severe drought. October and November 2017 ranked among the top driest months in Texas' recorded history. During those two months, no county in Texas saw more than four inches of rainfall. This is a concern as normally this is the time of year when Texas sees the highest amount of rainfall. Matt Bishop, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Fort Worth Forecast Office, stated that rainfall in the coming weeks is unlikely. Nationally, the United States Drought Monitor reports that "during the past three months, the focal point of drought development has been centered over portions of the Desert Southwest, Deep South, and southern Plains while conditions have steadily improved across the Pacific Northwest."

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