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(Newsrooms: SUBS 5th graf to CORRECT reference to DNA testing to morphological testing; adds link to updated
news story from Wright State University. With art at www.flickr.com/photos/uacescomm/15365277140/)
LITTLE ROCK – The white fringe tree, a plant that lights up the spring landscape
with white clusters of flowers, has been confirmed as a host for the emerald ash borer
Chionanthus virginicus, also known as Grancy Graybeard or Old Man’s Beard, is a relative of the ash tree
that is native to the southeastern U.S. It’s common in Arkansas west of the Delta
in the Ouachitas and southern counties and usually grows as a multi-stemmed tree or
large shrub, reaching 15 to 20 feet high. It is the only plant of its genus that is
native to the U.S.
“We must emphasize that this finding has been confirmed only in Ohio at the moment,”
said Tamara Walkingstick, associate director of the Arkansas Forest Resources Center
of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “This discovery means
we will be broadening our search for evidence of ash borers adapting to additional
According to “Entomology Today,” Wright State University Professor Don Cipollini found
the ash borer attacking fringe trees in Ohio. He told the outlet that the ash borer
“may have a wider host range than we ever thought in the first place, or it is adapting
to utilize new hosts.”
Cipollini’s finding was confirmed through morphological testing by the USDA’s Systematic
Entomology Laboratory in Maryland. (See updated news story at Updated available at
Since the emerald ash borer was discovered in the United States 12 years ago, the
borer is blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of trees in the U.S. and Canada.
In September, the Arkansas State Plant Board imposed an emergency quarantine in 25
counties to slow spread of the tiny green beetle. The ash borer had been confirmed
in Clark, Columbia, Dallas, Hot Spring, Nevada and Ouachita counties. The quarantine
requirements remain unchanged at this time. The emergency quarantine regulations and
map can be found at: http://www.aad.arkansas.gov/emerald-ash-borer.
The quarantine would bar movement of firewood and nursery stock out of the quarantined
area to slow the insect’s spread. Firewood should be sourced locally and burned locally,
state officials said. (See: www.uaex.uada.edu/media-resources/news/april2014/04-18-2014-Ark-Invasives-Firewood.aspx)
Signs of infestationSymptoms of infestation include:
Ash borer damage and symptoms on white fringe are the same as those in infested ash
If any of these signs of infestation appear, contact your county extension agent or
email the Arkansas State Plant Board at EAB@aspb.ar.gov.
For more information about the emerald ash borer, visit www.emeraldashborer.info or www.arinvasives.org. A fact sheet about the borer may be found at: “Emerald Ash Borer: A potential pest
of ash trees in Arkansas”, downloadable at www.uaex.uada.edu/publications/pdf/FSA-7066.pdf.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
By Mary HightowerThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Mary HightowerDir. of Communication ServicesU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com