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Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Getting Worse Without Treatment
DAYTON -- Arborist predict all of the ash trees in the Miami Valley will die in just a few years if they are not treated. Arborist Paul Burns says if you look at the trees down your street you will probably notice a common thread.
"You could see there's a number of ash trees with the top thinning out," he said.
The root of the problem is the emerald ash borer, the green beetle that visited us from Asia about a decade ago.
"In the ash trees, you can actually see the exit holes where the adults emerald ash borders have emerged," said Burns.
"They will bore their way up in the top through these little small exit holes and they will get in and lay their larva and the larva eats and kills on the inside and the tree dies," said plant health technician Ian Goodall.
"The mortality rate is going to be 100% and all trees unless they are treated are going to die from the emerald ash borer," said Burns.
Arborist say if your ash tree hasn't produced any leaves by now, it's definitely time to cut it down. In fact, the longer you wait to cut your dying ash tree down, the bigger a safety issue it becomes.
"When an ash tree dies you should have it removed within a year from the death of that tree because that ash tree becomes very brittle very quickly and you will start losing limbs out of the tree," said Burns. "You will start losing branches out of the tree."
With the storms we have in the Miami Valley, Burns says don't wait to either treat or cut down your dying ash trees.
"If there is less than 30% die back in the tree, usually they can be saved," Burns said. "Once they exceed 30% it's usually too far gone and it eventually needs to be removed."
For some the problem doesn't start with the beetle, it starts with us.
"I just think people needed to be more cautious about how they treat the environment and the plants around us because without them we wouldn't be here," said Becky Goerling of Dayton. "They give us the oxygen to breathe."
Last winters brutal temperatures did kill off more than 10 percent of the ash borer's but arborist say that won't even start to make a dent on the dying ash trees because of how great the infestation is.
"Last year the majority of trees we went out to look at, we were able to save," said Burns. "This year not so much."
Burns says once the ash borer enters the tree, it'll be dead within a couple years without insecticide treatment. The treatment costs a couple hundred dollars, but it costs about $1000 to remove a tree.
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