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What Is The Emerald Ash Borer? DEC Expert Talks About These Green Critters

Bethany Clarke, Getty Images
Bethany Clarke, Getty Images

An Asian beetle, called the Emerald Ash Borer, first discovered in the US in 2002 is threatening ash trees across New York State.

”We’ve had [them] in the state now for over a decade, and we’ve known about their presence since 2008. The biggest issue is trying to make people aware that when an ash tree dies, and it had the emerald ash borer in it, live beetles are going to come out, and if you move it around the state – firewood, poles whatever, you’re moving them around faster than they would on their own,” according to Jerry Carlson, a member of Governor Cuomo’s steering committee on Invasive Species, and a research scientist with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Is it okay to burn the wood of an ash tree that’s been infested with EAB?

YES – You can burn the wood – as soon as you get it down and cut it up, the beetles start to die more quickly, Carlson said.

The DEC is also developing techniques to stop their spread, including making some trees sick to induce the EABs to lay their eggs inside, and kill the insects in higher numbers.

There are chemical insecticides that you can inject the tree with to help protect your ash trees, he said.

Does transporting mulch transfer EABs?

No – Transporting mulch can create other issues with fungi or wild mushrooms, or other insects/bugs – but not emerald ash borers – Carlson said.

”It seems pretty clear to us that the EAB population spread has followed these firewood piles [that were shipped upstate],” Carlson said.

”If you see them, let us know it (DEC Contact Info). If we find them when they’re small in population, and in a few trees, its much easier to control the population,” Carlson said.

Full interview from WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning:

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