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Emerald Ash Borer Found on Kent State Campus – Kent, OH Patch

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Good thing ol Davey Tree is right down the street.

Emerald Ash Borer Found on Kent State Campus

Tree-killing beetle discovery is first confirmed infestation in Kent

Trees infested with the Emerald Ash Borer were found and removed on the Kent State University campus this week.

Kent City Arborist Gerald Shanley said the discovery on campus is the first confirmed infestation of the borer in the city of Kent.

“Even though Kent State has found an infestation it doesn’t mean all our trees are going to start falling over,” Shanley said. “It’s very manageable right now. What it means to me is we’re going to start seeing a decline in our ash trees over the next several years.”

The borer is a shiny green beetle about the size of a thumbnail. The beetles, originally from Asia, lay eggs in ash trees that hatch and feed on the trees, eventually destroying its means of dispersing water and nutrients throughout the tree.

The bug has proven deadly to thousands of ash trees as it’s marched from Michigan, across the Midwest and through Ohio in the past decade. The beetle was first found in Ohio in 2003.

Heather White, manager for university facilities management at Kent State, said they found the borer Tuesday in multiple ash trees on campus.

“The largest concentration of trees was at Taylor (Hall) Parking lot, where five were removed,” she said.

White said all trees on campus that were found with an ash borer infestation have since been removed.

Prior to this week, there was at least one confirmed infestation in Portage County and several in Summit County. The entire state has been quarantined by the United States Department of Agriculture, making it illegal to transport ash trees, parts of ash trees and all hardwood firewood out of Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s website.

Last spring, the city received $37,500 from the state to remove and replace ash trees as part of a pre-emptive measure against the emerald ash borer.

Shanley said the city was able to remove and replace 228 ash trees in the city’s public right of way with non-host trees. There are less than 100 ash trees left in city right-of-ways now, but the number of ash trees in city parks and on private property could still number in the thousands.

He recommends residents continue doing what they’ve been doing: calling him to confirm if they have an ash tree and if it has signs of infestation.

“What I recommend to residents is, if it’s not infected, start a treatment program as soon as possible or plan on having it removed,” Shanley said. “If it’s a large tree, that’s going to cost a lot of money, so they should start thinking about it over the next year or two.”

Shanley said he’ll continue working with Kent’s Shade Tree Commission and The Davey Tree Expert Company to educate the public, identify ash trees and replace them when possible.

“We’ve known about this since 2003,” he said. “We’ve known it was coming.”


Written by vaphc

May 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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