Emerald Ash Borer Is Too Close For Comfort

So what are those strange purple box-kite-like structures hanging in trees in wooded areas in some state parks and what do they have to do with transporting firewood  (particularly ash) outside of local regions? Both are connected to the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that is on Connecticut’s doorstep. The destructive Emerald Ash Borer was recently reported about 20 miles from northwest Connecticut, on the Connecticut side of the Hudson River in New York.

Emerald Ash Borers live and feed on, and kill ash trees. Emerald Ash borers feed on the trees’ inner bark – the nutrient transport system. As the beetles feed they prevent nutrients from reaching sections of, and eventually the entire tree so the tree dies. Since the beetles are not native to North America, ash trees growing here have no natural defenses against them.

Emerald Ash Borers, along with other harmful tree pests, may be transported from place to place in cut firewood. It is always advisable to use only local wood for firewood. But the Emerald Ash Borer also flies to find a new ash host.

sign of emerald ash borerThe Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) has an extensive explanation of the Emerald Ash Borer – it’s life cycle, the damage it causes, what it looks like. I urge Connecticut residents to become aware of the problem.

One sure sign of the Emerald Ash Borer is “D” shaped holes in an ash tree. If you notice new die back at the top of an ash tree, look for the ‘D’ shaped holes. This report at Environmental Headlines urges residents to  contact the Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station (203-974-8474) or email CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov if you see these signs or suspect you have seen the green metallic beetle .

Get information about the purple traps via the Emerald Ash Borer trapping program.

The most common Ash tree in Connecticut is the white ash (Fraxinus americana).  Click the tree’s botanical name to see the photos and information posted by the  UConn Plant Database, a great resource for learning about trees, shrubs and vines growing in Connecticut.

Watch this video on white ash:


Remember, if you see an ash (tree) hole shaped like a ‘D’ an Emerald Ash Borer it will be. Report it.

Many thanks to Environmental Headlines for helping to keep Connecticut residents up to speed on environmental issues.

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4 comments for “Emerald Ash Borer Is Too Close For Comfort

  1. April 26, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Very interesting article on a very nasty bug. Thanks for spreading the word!

    • April 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

      Benita , It would be so wonderful to learn that some pathogen has naturally infected the Emerald Ash Borer. It seems that so many invasive species are limiting what grows naturally.

  2. April 26, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    Our extension service with the Master Gardeners set out the traps every year and try to educate people on this very destructive insect. It is so sad to see some of these older trees suffer from the effects.

    • April 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

      I believe traps are planned for many more locations in CT this year, Sage Butterfly, but people need to be educated so more eyes are searching for this invader.

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