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New Steps to Protect Ash Trees from the Emerald Ash Borer

AGAWAM, Mass. (WGGB) — Massachusetts is taking new steps to protect against the Emerald Ash Borer.

The Asian insect has killed millions of Ash Trees since it arrived in the U.S. in 2002.

Last year, the Ash Borer made its way to the town of Dalton making Massachusetts the 18th state to have the insect.

But we found traps are now being set to prevent the spread of these insects.

Green-metallic in color and smaller than a penny, this tiny creature causes a lot of trouble.

Emerald Ash Borers attack Ash Trees. Once infesting a tree within 3 to 5 years, it dies.

“An egg is laid, eventually it hatches, it tunnels into the bark it lives in that campion layer in between the bark, from there it will feed throughout the summer and that disrupts the food and water throughout the tree,” explains Melanie Joy with Forest Service.

In order to find the beetles the U.S. Department of Agriculture funds traps.  If you look up, they are quite hard to miss.

The color purple and the scent inside attract the beetle, then there is a coating of material on the outside of the trap that causes the Emerald Ash Borer to stick to it.

Eric Reynolds, Forest Health Supervisor says, “It’s an early detection program.  We’re trying to find out if the Emerald Ash Borer has arrived in other counties in Massachusetts other than Berkshire County. ”

This year 435 traps will be set up throughout the state.  If detected, the next step is to plan how to regulate the area.

Currently there are quarantines in affect in all of the 19 states that are infected with this insect.

Once a quarantine area is set, things like firewood, nursery stock, or any material from an Ash Tree cannot be moved from the area.

If you have an Ash Tree at home, check for the following symptoms:

-distinct “d” shaped exit holes on the bark,

-“s” shaped tunnels on the surface under the bark

-and vertical splits on the tree’s bark.

For more information about the emerald ash borer click here.

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