Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Emerald Ash Borers Approach

Yesterday, Marilyn Wyman from Cornell Cooperative Extension addressed the Board of Supervisors' Economic Development & Agriculture Committee, warning of the imminent danger of the emerald ash borer. She reported that the largest infestation in New York State is in Saugerties and Woodstock. The emerald ash borer is now in Catskill, and it has jumped the river and been discovered in Dutchess County. She recommended a course of action that involves identifying ash trees and monitoring them for early detection. She pointed out that woodpecker activity was an indicator of presence of emerald ash borer larvae.

Although Wyman stressed the importance of early detection, she did not suggest that early detection could save the tree. She told the committee that there was a 100 percent mortality rate for infested trees, and there was no remedy. The only benefit of early detection, it seems, is cutting the tree before it is completely dead because it is more expensive to remove a dead tree.

Lisa Dejong/The Plain Dealer
Wyman mentioned that ash trees were planted as street trees in many cities to replace the elms that were lost to Dutch elm disease in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. In Chicago, where 20 percent of all the street trees are ash trees, a coalition called Save Your Ash is working to prevent the destruction. In an article that appeared earlier this month on DNA.com Chicago, the coalition's founder, John Friedmann (note the second n), is quoted as saying, "A tree can be saved if it is less than 50 percent infected." Chicago's Bureau of Forestry has made the commitment to treat all of the salvageable trees in the city's parkways (the grassy strip between the sidewalk and the street) with an injectable insecticide by the end of 2014. There are a total of 94,000 ash trees in Chicago.

Here in Hudson there are 26 ash trees.


  1. Two weeks ago I watched as a load of wood was transported across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge. I could have screamed. (Actually, I did.)

    But if I'd been able to get the truck's plate number, who would do anything about it?

    The fact that slashed budgets affect law enforcement is a sobering reality. On the other hand, what we assume we gain by fattening bureaucracies doesn't necessarily translate to inter-agency coordination or efficiency.

    In either case, the attention and care of individuals is what's always required.

  2. There is no organic control for this borer. Merit a long lasting systemic insecticide seems to be the only answer. Not practical to treat the woods but you can treat your park, city and home trees.

    Link below to Bayer site


    Greg Draiss
    The Real Dirt on Gardening