Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

WK Outdoors - Bugs Destroying Trees Across Kentucky

green bug 300WESTERN KY (3/29/13) – A 1/2-inch long dark metallic green beetle is responsible for the loss of tens of thousands of ash trees across northern and central Kentucky.
 
The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, a native to Asia, was first documented in the state in 2009.
 
"The emerald ash borer has now spread to 21 Kentucky counties at a minimum," said Jody Thompson, an environmental scientist with the Kentucky Division of Forestry. "From three years of trap data, University of Kentucky researchers found that one of the largest (infestations) and potentially oldest is in the northern Franklin and Shelby County area."
 
Adult beetles emerge in late spring from May to early June and feed on ash leaves. After mating occurs, females lay 60 to 90 eggs on a nearby ash tree.
 
It's the larvae, the immature stage of the beetle, causing the damage from feeding on the inner bark (phloem) and disrupting the tree's ability to transport sugars and other nutrients.
 
"If enough of the flow is cut, the tree will stress and eventually die," said Thompson.
 
The most reliable signs of this beetle are the D-shaped holes in the bark from which adults emerge. Another sign is finding an adult beetle. Infested trees often exhibit a discoloration of the bark as woodpeckers try to get at the larvae. Branches in the tree's canopy die and sometimes suckers grow from the tree's trunk.
 
Typically, it takes about two years for a mature ash tree to succumb to the emerald ash borer. Ash trees in cities and suburbs are just as vulnerable as those in rural woodlands.
 
Ben Robinson, small game biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, said it would be a big loss to wildlife if Kentucky's ash trees disappeared.
 
"Ash trees are valuable as a seed source," he said, "for songbirds, bobwhite quail, wild turkeys and even wood ducks in bottomland hardwood forests."
 
The exotic, invasive beetle probably arrived in North America in wood shipping crates carried by cargo ships. The Emerald ash borer was discovered in North America in 2002. By 2012, the beetle had spread to at least 17 U.S. states.
 
In years to come, Kentuckians could be looking at a landscape with few, if any, ash trees. "Ash trees sucker and grow well from seed, so there's likely to be a small lingering population," Thompson said.
 
All species of ash trees native to Kentucky, including the white ash, green ash and blue ash, are susceptible to the emerald ash borer. The blue ash, an heirloom of Kentucky's pre-history, still survives in remnant savannas of the Inner Bluegrass Region.
 
"Fayette County has been chemically treating some of their large blue ash trees," said Thompson. "To be effective, chemical treatment has to be continuous."
 
Ash wood has a high strength-to-weight ratio and low shrinkage when dried. It is a valuable wood with many commercial uses for everything from flooring and electric guitar bodies, to tool handles and baseball bats.
 
For the most up-to-date information on the emerald ash borer in Kentucky visit: http://pest.ca.uky.edu/EXT/EAB/welcome.html.
 
Art Lander Jr. has been writing about the outdoors since the 1970s. He is a staff writer for Kentucky Afield Magazine.

WK Outdoors
Information provided by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife
Photo provided by KDFW
Visit the WK Outdoors website at www.wkoutdoors.com

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Stock Report

1 DOW 16,262.56
+89.32 (0.55%)    
2 S&P 1,842.98
+12.37 (0.68%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,034.16
0.00 (0.00%)    
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

In Other News...

Muhlenberg Judges Visit Yonts During Kentucky General Assembly

FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/15/14) — Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Christopher Shea Nickell (far left) of the First Appellate… Read More

Public Meeting to Provide Kentucky 91 and 293 Princeton Connector Update

CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (4/15/14) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has scheduled a public informational meeting to… Read More
3/12 - 718 switched from reg 2 to hopkins only
447 on Feb 15th (Val ad ended) switched to kid books
CHANGED TO SIMPLE AD ON 2/19 619 HITS

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 15, 2014 15309

UPDATE- U.S. Bank Robbery, Bomb Threat…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 5221

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 4990

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 4836

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 4289

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 4836

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 13, 2014 4144

One Dead in Two Vehicle Head On Collision

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 11, 2014 3750

Couple Charged for Trying to Use Funny…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
April 12, 2014 2641

One Injured in Two Vehicle Accident in…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 11, 2014 2432

Hopkins County Crime Stoppers Tip Leads…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 980

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 13, 2014 786

Two Daviess County Men Busted for…

in Top Stories by Scott Gibbs
April 11, 2014 698

Business Spotlight: Local Entrepreneur…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 11, 2014 458

Daviess County Student Honored in KDA…

in Top Stories by Ted Sloan
April 14, 2014 422

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 11, 2014 5221

Sheriff's Office Rounds Up Three in Drug…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 11, 2014 4289

Greenville Police Confirm Official…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 11, 2014 3457

Meteorologist Hart Shares Weather Tips,…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 13, 2014 2025

Muhlenberg 4-H is Buzzing

in Top Stories by Janie Culton
April 14, 2014 1372

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03