Emerald Ash Borer Beetle

 They are more commonly referred to as EAB. Why are we writing about them? Have you seen the billboards that say, “I promise not to move firewood?” They started appearing locally a few months back and made us wonder, “What’s behind that unusual message?” 

Shortly after that we started to notice purple hanging boxes in the trees. Turns out they are traps set only in Ash trees to determine if the EAB is here. In fact there’s one on County Line road as you’re headed up to Seven Springs on the right and several on Rt 31.

We owe all of this promotional marketing to the Emerald Ash Borer. In 2002 Michigan residents first identified this vibrant green beetle. Over 700 million dead trees later, (in Michigan ALONE) the fight to contain this pest wages on. Destroying Ash trees in twelve other states, Ontario, and Quebec, the EAB beetle has now been found in Westmoreland County.

Here’s their MO. Adults lay their eggs on the Ash tree BARK from mid-May through mid August. Eggs hatch into larvae and tunnel into the tree.  The larvae live UNDER the bark and create S-shaped paths. This stage is where the damage is done. Their feeding disrupts the water flow from the roots to the crown and within a year to four the tree is dead. THERE IS NO CURE.

Getting back to the billboards the beetles are transferred from one area to another by moving infected firewood. ALWAYS use LOCAL FIREWOOD to help stop the spread of the EAB. Ash trees have been popular for landscaping as they grow quickly and can be found throughout the grounds at BOTH Hidden Valley and Seven Springs. To identify an ash tree look at the leaves. This site shows the different types of Ash trees. If you begin to notice the crown of your trees thinning out take a closer look at your bark!!  PLEASE DON”T MOVE FIREWOOD!

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Comments

  1. Abe, This was a great article on preventing the destruction of our local forests.

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