WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman

Combating the Emerald Ash Borer Beatle

Invasive species destroying millions of trees

Mike Baggerman
May 19, 2017 - 1:30 pm
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - In an effort to combat invasive species, Assemblyman Sean Ryan announced on Friday that $13 million of the New York State budget will be dedicated for various programs to attack the threat. 

Particularly, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has caused incredible damage to ash trees in Western New York. One Beatle alone causes little damage to a tree but each year, a single female EAB produces 100 larvae which can quickly destroy a tree because the larvae consume the nutrients and cause eventual destruction of the trees. 

“The funding will allow municipalities, non-profits, and educational institutions to receive grants from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund  to prevent and combat the invasive species of the Emerald Ash Borer,” Ryan said at Delaware Park. “The funding will allow the Buffalo Olmsted Park to keep up the fight against the Ash Borer. 

The EAB originally came from China and has destroyed millions of ash trees across the continent and has been expanding across New York since 2009 according to a release. 

All of Western New York and Central New York are considered “Restricted Zones” for the invasive species and are quarantined there. The only area of Upstate New York that is not affected by the EAB is the Adirondack region.

To prevent the spread of the EAB, Assemblyman Ryan urged the public not to transport Ash logs, untreated Ash firewood, and Ash nursery stock to those regions because Larvae of the EAB can be moved long distances. Instead, Ryan is asking the public to purchase firewood within the Adirondacks. 

Identifying affected ash trees is possible according to David Paradowski the Regional Forester for Buffalo Olmsted Parks. 

“One thing that is very visible is signs of woodpecker damage,” Paradowski said. “Ash has a grey outer bark and when woodpeckers peck at that it reveals a beige, pinkish undertone. Woodpeckers are way better than humans at discovering when a tree is infested. They’re often there before you notice a substantial decline of canopy.”

The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is using the funding to inoculate trees, which prevents the EAB from establishing itself within the three. Funds will also be used to take down trees destroyed by the species and plant new trees.

LISTEN: Combating the Emerald Ash Borer

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