Ash Trees in Danger
What you can do to save the trees in your neighborhood.
The big news in my area this summer is about a tiny insect called the Emerald Ash Borer. A few days ago I was just hanging around in my backyard (trying to perfect my double back flip on the trampoline) when two official-looking men drove up. They were from the USDA Forest Service.
The men told me and my dad that the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer had arrived in my hometown of Randolph, New York!
These tiny insects lay their eggs in the bark of ash trees and when they hatch, they burrow and feed on the trees, and kill them. The Emerald Ash Borer was first discovered in Michigan in 2007. Since then the bugs have spread to Pennsylvania, Illinois, Wisconsin, and other parts of the U.S. On June of this year, the ash borer was discovered for the first time in New York State in Cattaraugus County.
Scientists are fighting back! Spreading outward from the epicenter of Cattaraugus (in my neighborhood in Randolph), scientists are putting up roughly 1,200 traps in a 7-mile radius to determine a quarantine zone. The purple traps are hanging from ash trees all over Randolph. I am monitoring the traps that are hanging on our property.
Ash trees make up about 95 percent of New York’s trees. If these trees are damaged or killed, it will really hurt the local economy. Ash trees are used to make furniture and for firewood.
For good pictures of the Emerald Ash Borers, go to www.emeraldashborer.info . You can report any sightings in your area at 1-866-322-4512.
Right now, a rare type of stingless Chinese wasp is being tested in Michigan to stop the ash borer. If the ash borer isn’t stopped and spreads to other parts of the country, about 7.5 billion ash trees are at risk of dying. Help stop this exotic but harmful beetle from spreading! Check out your ash trees to see if the bugs are coming your way.
PHOTO: Workers from the FDA Forest Service are hanging purple traps like these from ash trees all over Randolph, New York. Photo Courtesy Joseph McIntrye