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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Icy Winter Kills Large Percentage of Emerald Ash Borer

XENIA-- A Highly destructive beetle called the Emerald Ash Borer wreaked havoc on the Miami Valley's landscape over the past few years, but there's new information about the forecasted damage for the invasive pests this spring.

"The fear of the ash borer is still out," said Doug Wickline at his Xenia Garden Center. He had to adjust business when the bug first hit.

"We were growing probably about 70 percent of our nursery stock was ash trees whether it was white ash or purple ash," Wickline said.

Wickline stopped selling the tree a year after the damage started, but after the icy 2013-2014 winter, the future is change for the insect's population.

"It may end up with a 30 to 40 percent mortality rate of the Emerald Ash Borer within the trees," said Casey Burdick with the Ohio Division of Forestry. She has been following the Emerald Ash Borer's devastation since it hit in 2003. 

"In the last year or two, it's been much more noticeable around the Dayton area," Burdick said, "When you're driving up 75 you're seeing a lot more dead trees off the interstate."

The Ohio Department of Forestry says the local landscape is about to change even more. Extreme temperatures may be killing off 30-40 percent of the Ash Borer, but ash trees even slightly damaged by the bug before the winter, those trees will not survive to spring.

"Basically everyone in Ohio is affected by this," Burdick added, "If you have yard trees that are ash, you're going to be dealing with them starting to die or lose limbs. Nursery owners haven't been able to grow ash trees for awhile because they can't sell them."

"Ash used to be, it was probably one of my favorite of the shade trees out there," Wickline said back at the garden center. He adds that the fear of losing profit because of the Emerald Ash Borer is still too great to put the tree back on the market.

"Until that fear is out, I need to have a product that people are going to trust," he said.

The Division of Forestry says if you have ash trees and you don't see them leaf by mid-May, it's probably time to call an arborist.
Wickline's Florist and Garden Center says they will have plenty of maple and locust trees to replace them.

 
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