2 Tennessee counties added to emerald ash borer quarantine

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The East Tennessee counties of Bledsoe and Cumberland have been added to a quarantine for the emerald ash borer, an insect that destroys ash trees.

The quarantine prohibits movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that can spread the insect.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says the total number of Tennessee counties under a state and federal quarantine for the insect is now 41.

The agency says the emerald ash borer was introduced from Asia into the U.S. in the 1990s and first detected in Tennessee in 2010 in Knox County. Officials use purple box traps placed in trees across the state to identify infestations.

The Agriculture Department says an ash borer can kill an ash tree in three years.