Thursday, June 16, 2011

Better Watch Your Ash

A year ago I posted about a billboard I spotted in Ellicott City warning residents about a beetle that is killing the states ash trees. At the time I dismissed this threat to HoCo trees since a year ago the ash trees nemesis had only been detected in Southern. The bigger concern for HoCo was the pine shoot beetle.

In this battle against the beetle the bug is winning. The battleground against the emerald ash borer has now officially moved to HoCo. According to this story by Frank D. Roylance in The Sun, the ash tree destroying beetle “has turned up in trees and traps in three locations in Howard County, accelerating the threat to hundreds of thousands of valuable shade trees in Baltimore and its suburbs.”

“After the discovery last week, the Maryland Department of Agriculture immediately expanded its ash wood quarantine zone, which now bars the transport of all ash wood, ash nursery stock or any hardwood firewood out of Howard, Charles or Prince George's counties.”

This is pretty serious stuff. Once the emerald ash borer lays its eggs in a an ash tree, the tree is toast. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is spearheading efforts to save the states ash trees.

“Residents who suspect they have an ash borer infestation, are asked to call the state Department of Agriculture at 410-841-5920.”

In other words, you better watch your ash.
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