City’s Trees Fall to Ash Borer
A state forester has been called in to provide technical help to city officials in Bristol, Connecticut. The issue seems minor, a few dying trees that line an industrial park, but the consequences could be dire.
The problem is an invasive beetle that is damaging thousands of trees and thinning out forests in the midwestern and eastern states. The emerald ash borer was first observed in Detroit in 2002 and has since spread south and east. Connecticut found its first evidence of the borer ten years later.
This pest is a serious threat for several reasons. First, the beetle is invasive, which means it doesn’t have natural predators here in the U.S. The bug likely came with a shipment of untreated wood from either South Korea or China.
The bright green, red-eyed beetles are also native to Japan and Russia.
Second, the beetle does slow but insidious damage and therefore is hard to spot. By the time the tree shows symptoms, like a wilting or thinning crown and D-shaped rings in its trunk, it’s too late for the tree.
And last, the ash borer is hard to kill. The dying trees must be removed to prevent spread.
The tall ash trees lining Bristol’s oldest industrial park will be removed very soon, then ground up to ensure no beetles survive the process.
The website dedicated to recruit the public for help in the war on these bugs notes that the emerald ash borer is “now considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America.”