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Emerald Ash Borers Expected to Make Way to Area

The Emerald Ash Borer is an exotic green insect about half an inch long from Asia that feeds on and kills Ash trees... causing costly damage to power lines and properties.

The insect was first found in the Midwest, in Michigan and near the Great Lakes.... destroying all the Ash trees.

"What kills the tree is the adult lays eggs and a small grub-like lardy burrow beneath the tree feed on that bark and literally girdle the tree," said Ken Smith, Exectuive Director of Chenango Cooperative Extension.

Emerald Ash Borers have recently been found in Syracuse and Unadilla. Experts estimate that our area is next.

"It appears to be traveling along the interstate and unfortunately for our region between route 88 and 81 we're kind of next in line," Smith said.

Ash trees make up one in ten trees in the area. Smith estimates that within the next ten years all will be gone. But land owners and municipalities can take steps to save Ash trees from dying.

"The really important thing is to give land owners the choices so that they don't spend two or three thousand dollars cutting down a tree that they could protect with two or three hundred dollars worth of insecticide," he said.

It's actually a pesticide called Treeage that's injected into the tree. It lasts for two years and costs around $10 per diameter inch.

"This flows with the sap flow up through the trees. The best time to do this is May and June in the spring when the trees are actually transpiring and the sap flow is the greatest," George Dorber of Cook's Tree Service said.

The city of Rochester has already made the decision to inject all of its Ash trees with Treeage.

For more information about Emerald Ash Borers or how to tell if you have an Ash tree visit www.cce.cornell.edu.


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