The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small, metallic green color beetle native to eastern Asia. The EAB was officially identified in the U.S. in 2002, and since has been responsible for the death of millions of ash trees. It currently is found in thirteen states and in parts of Canada. Ash trees infested with EABs are typically dead within one to three years. At this stage, the goal of USDA is not to eradicate the EAB, but to prevent additional spread throughout the entire country. Strict quarantines have been authorized to prohibit the movement of firewood out of states where EABs are known to live, as well as the transportation of firewood intrastate.
|Emerald Ash Borer|
Photo by the University of Kentucky
A technique used to indicate the presence of EABs is girdling ash trees. At White Memorial, four trees were girdled at various points around the property. Girdling is a cost-effective forestry management technique used to cut off the flow of nutrients inside an individual tree, eventually killing it. Girdling is used for this project because although EABs will occupy any Ash tree, they are most attracted to dead or dying ash trees in which to lay their eggs. When looking for the proper tree to girdle, Larry Rousseau and Lukas Hyder tried to find an intermediate size tree, with a DBH (diameter at breast height) of about 7 to 10 inches. They also wanted the ash tree to have a large canopy, reaching above most of the surrounding vegetation. Finally, it was important to locate a tree that far enough from roads and people so that if it was to fall it would not harm anyone and would remain undisturbed during the girdling process.
|Service Forester Larry Rousseau with ash tree after being girdled.|