Thursday, September 13, 2012

Emerald ash borer sighted in Mass. for first time

The emerald ash borer is eating its way up the East Coast, leaving swaths of dead or dying ash trees in its wake. It has been spotted in Massachusetts for the first time, officials said yesterday, in Berkshire County in the hilly western part of the state. Ash trees are the main component of the state's northern hardwood forest.

State officials said they are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to limit the beetle's impact on forests and the wood-products industry, Ros Krasny of Reuters reports. Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation commissioner Ed Lambert said officials "are not taking its presence lightly" and are defining a quarantine area to limit movement of certain wood products, and working with landowners to properly treat and dispose of infested timber.

The invasive Asian beetle has destroyed tens of millions of trees in the U.S. since being accidentally introduced here in the 1990s. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, and has been found in 17 other states since then. Its larvae feed on the inner bark of trees, cutting off their ability to take in water and nutrients. Infested ash trees die within a few years. (Read more)

1 comment:

Liam Manning said...

That is really interested, and very cool looking! My friend was telling me about seeing an emerald ash borer in minnesota! What exactly are they? Why are the emerald ones so rare? I'd love to know more about them, thanks!