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.

In Other News...

Owensboro Police Conduct Investigations

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/20/14) — Owensboro Police are conducting the following investigations: A report of theft by unlawful… Read More

Multi-Agency Drug Investigation Leads to Owensboro Pharmacy

OWENSBORO, Ky. (8/21/14) — Owensboro Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit, Kentucky State Police, and the Drug… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 21, 2014 4694

Muhlenberg Task Force on Trail of Home…

in News by Wes Miller
August 17, 2014 4486

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 18, 2014 4041

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 20, 2014 3815

Park Avenue Trespass Call Leads to…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 18, 2014 3763

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 20, 2014 3815

Park Avenue Trespass Call Leads to…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 18, 2014 2651

Madisonville Man Charged for Shoplifting,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 20, 2014 1577

Dawson Springs Woman Arrested for Driving…

in Top Stories by SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 1443

Madisonville Firefighters Recognized for…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 20, 2014 1218

Theft at Pennyrile Park Apartments Leads…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 18, 2014 3763

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 18, 2014 3579

Unlawful Solicitation

in News by Sgt. J.D. Winkler
August 18, 2014 3483

RiverArtes Opening at OMFA

in News by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
August 19, 2014 2922

Free Arthritis Exercise Program will be…

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 19, 2014 2823

Municipal Art Collection on Exhibit at…

in News by Mary Bryan Hood

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 17, 2014 4486

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 18, 2014 4041

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 18, 2014 3487

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 3299

'How Dry I Was'

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 19, 2014 2699

'Another One Bites the 'Duct'

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News

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 03social 04social 22social 21social 06