- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 28, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas agriculture officials have approved a statewide quarantine in hopes of slowing the spread of an invasive beetle that destroys ash trees.

The State Plant Board announced Tuesday the quarantine in response to the emerald ash borer, which is a beetle native to Asia that feeds on and kills ash trees. Under the 75-county quarantine, ash nursery products including firewood can be transported anywhere in the state, but not out of state.

The beetle was first detected in Arkansas in 2014 in six counties in the southern part of the state, but has since been found in a total of 18 counties.

Officials say an infestation of emerald ash borers typically kills an ash tree within two to five years.

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