EMERALD ASH BORER
|Published: 6:30 PM, 11/23/2012
||Last updated: 6:30 PM, 11/23/2012
Source: The Newport Plain Talk
Park Resource Managers recently confirmed the Smokies
first backcountry emerald ash borer (EAB) infestation.
According to Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Biologist, Glenn Taylor, "The emerald ash borer is a 1/2 inch-long metallic
green beetle that lays eggs on the bark on all species of ash trees. After
hatching, the EAB larvae burrow under the bark, and create feeding tunnels that
cut off nutrient and water flow to the tree. The tree can die in three to five
years." Accidentally introduced to North America from Asia, EAB was first
discovered in southeast Michigan in 2002, and has spread to 16 states and two
Canadian provinces killing tens of millions of ash trees.
Since 2009, officials have been monitoring for the
presence of EAB. Front country
infestations were confirmed in June 2012 at Sugarlands Visitor Center and at
the Greenbrier entrance to the Park. An off-duty park employee discovered the
backcountry infestation on Injun Creek Trail in the Greenbrier area on Nov. 8,
2012. The employee noticed a pile of bark chips at the base of several ash
trees. Signs of woodpecker activity on ash trees is an excellent indicator of
an EAB infestation.
For more details, please see the weekend edition of the
Newport Plain Talk.
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