Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

Posted on 2/2/14
2/6/2014 - posted
button coupons
2/6/2014 - posted
2/6/2014 - posted
button classifieds

In Other News...

No December 2014 Meetings for Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance

OWENSBORO, Ky. (11/25/14) — There will be no December meetings for the City of Owensboro Neighborhood Alliance Program.… Read More

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (11/25/14) — Madisonville Police searched a Carlisle Drive residence from an ongoing investigation… Read More
2/6/2014 - posted

Most Read This Week

November 21, 2014 7086

Man Accused of Assaulting Coach During Basketball…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
November 22, 2014 4755

One Injured in Two Vehicle Collision in Greenville

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Miria Thomas
November 21, 2014 4459

Crashing Dump Trucks in Work Zone Cause Pennyrile…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
November 21, 2014 3679

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
November 21, 2014 3492

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 21, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 21, 2014 3052

Swimming and Diving Closes Fall Season at Ohio…

in General Sports For All Sites by UK Athletics
November 24, 2014 2897

Two Charged for Possession of Meth After…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by MCSO/PIO Alex Piper
November 21, 2014 2712

Kentucky Employers to Save About $112 million

in General News For All Sites by Cathy Lindsey
November 20, 2014 2704

Local Church Prepares for 'Return to Bethlehem'

in Video by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
November 20, 2014 2643

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 20, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department

Stories Trending Today

November 25, 2014 2565

Madisonville Man Charged for Selling Cocaine

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 2413

Call for Help Results in Arrest for Possession of…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 1659

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports - Nov. 25, 2014

in Hopkins News by Madisonville Police Department
November 25, 2014 1627

Slow Cook a Turkey for a Tasty Thanksgiving Feast

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 25, 2014 1479

Protect Your Home When Traveling This Holiday…

in General News For All Sites by SurfKY News
November 24, 2014 1420

KSP Post 2 Thanksgiving Holiday Enforcement…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper S. C. Recke
November 25, 2014 1361

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee of the…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Karen Robinson
November 25, 2014 1218

Construction Projects Suspended to Ease Holiday…

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Tolliver
November 25, 2014 1131

Bake Sale Held for Two Year-Old Burn Victim

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
November 25, 2014 1089

Parking Committee 2015 Meeting Schedule

in Owensboro News by Beth Cecil

SurfKY News Group, Inc.
Corporate Office & Studio
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431
270.452.2727 (phone)
  •  270.452.2249 (fax)


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

social fbsocial twsocial yt
social gpsocial flrsocial rss