How North Texas Residents and Businesses Can Effectively Deal with Emerald Ash Borer
Welcome to this enlightening video where TreeNewal’s Wes Rivers sits down with Kimberlee Peterson in a captivating discussion surrounding the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an insidious invasive pest that has become a hot topic in the North Texas area and beyond. Journey with them as they trace the origins of this destructive beetle, which made its way from Asia and established itself in Detroit in the late 90s. Since then, it has relentlessly spread across the United States, infiltrating New England, the Southeast, Colorado, and finally reaching North Texas.
he conversation revolves around the devastating impact of the EAB on ash trees. Unlike native wood-boring insects that typically prey on stressed or weakened trees, the EAB mercilessly attacks perfectly healthy ash trees of all ages, showing no discrimination. Kimberlee’s guest recalls an intriguing incident where a 10-year-old little naturalist spotted the EAB in the Fort Worth Nature Center, using the iNaturalist app to capture the discovery. Astonishingly, no one identified the pest for years until a user recognized the EAB from the photo.
With a keen eye for detail, they describe the telltale signs of EAB infestation, such as dieback and thinning canopies, epicormic sprouts on the trunk, and distinct d-shaped exit holes left by the beetles. Additionally, the presence of “blonding” on the bark, caused by woodpeckers pecking at the wood in their quest to access the EAB larvae beneath, further illustrates the extensive damage caused.
Beyond the realm of nature, they explore the unexpected ripple effects of the EAB infestation, including the impact on the baseball industry. For years, baseball bats were predominantly made from ash wood, but with the decline of ash trees, the industry had to adapt and switch to alternative materials like sugar maple.
The conversation takes a poignant turn as they discuss the implications of the EAB on the future of ash trees in the wild. Some experts have expressed concerns about the potential end of Native American ash species as we know them if measures aren’t taken to mitigate the infestation.
Even though ash trees constitute only around two and a half to three percent of the urban forest, the sheer number of trees affected amounts to millions. Cities like Dallas and Denton are taking proactive steps to protect their ash populations from the EAB onslaught.
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