SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS!
Confirmed in Wyandotte Co., emerald ash borer is destruction at PV’s door
Its name is the emerald ash borer. And it already may be in Prairie Village.
The half-inch long insect has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the Midwest. In the past two months, it has been confirmed in Wyandotte and Platte Counties — meaning it could have spread into the Prairie Village area already and not have been detected yet. The beetle poses an enormous threat here because of the prevalence of ash trees — what the borer feeds on and what it kills. The Prairie Village Tree Board is already talking about the city’s options to deal with the threat. The city’s tree inventory lists 737 ash trees just on public property — either in parks, on city property or lining streets in the city easement. That total does not count the multitude of ash trees on private property.
In some neighborhoods, such as Countryside East in the northwest corner of the city, the concentration of ash trees is so high that the canopy covering the streets is almost exclusively ash trees. Porter Park is another area with a heavy concentration of ash.
It was identified in Wyandotte County on August 29. Its earlier discovery in Platte County was in a dead tree. According to arborist Greg Van Booven, a member of the Prairie Village tree board, that means it probably has been in the area for years since it can take three to five years for the insect to kill a mature tree. Given that timeline, it already may be infesting this area. The infestation is not obvious early on; by the time the exit holes of the larva are visible, the tree is already heavily damaged.
There are two remedies: remove and replace the dead trees or apply a preventive chemical treatment that kills the insect. The practical treatment for larger trees in this area is a chemical injection that is best applied in the spring, but that treatment needs to be applied to each tree and comes with some cost. Smaller trees may be treatable with soil applied chemical.
The emerald ash borer is native to Asia. It was first discovered in the U.S. in 2002 near Detroit, probably brought in wood packing. In 10 years it has spread throughout the Midwest and eastern Canada, doing massive destruction. Arborists suspect the borer has spread in firewood transport since its flight is limited per season. The beetle is metallic green and emerges in the spring. The larva tunnel between the bark and wood, killing the tree. A weakened tree is more vulnerable and many trees have been compromised by this year’s drought. It can, though, kill healthy trees.
Powered by Facebook Comments