Mar 15
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The Invasive Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer is an invasive species that has been destroying ash trees for many years. The species had been brought over by packing crates, most likely from China. They have spread all over America and they are now in South Hero. These insects destroy 99.7% of ash trees and lay their larvae inside the tree, “The emerald ash borer has destroyed 40 million ash trees in Michigan alone and tens of millions throughout other states and Canada.” (Arbor day foundation). These larvae eat the connective tissue of the tree, and the tree eventually dies. One of the things we, as members of the South Hero community, can do to help this problem is to keep the transportation of ash firewood local.

Keeping firewood local would be the most effective way of stopping the infestation of emerald ash borer because this would slow down the spread significantly. In fact, the way that emerald ash borers came to America in the first place was through the wood of a shipping container from China. Emerald ash borer only spread 2-3 miles per year. However, when people carry logs of ash that may be infested with emerald ash borer, the spread of the insect can be greatly increased within a short amount of time.     

Limited firewood, however, could affect the community of South Hero because there are a great deal of lumberjacks and people who sell wood to other people. One-eighth trees in Vermont are ash trees however, this increases when we are talking about South Hero. This would mean that a lot of the people would lose money because they would have to find an alternative wood to sell. This could affect quite a few people who store firewood for the winter, for they would have to wait two years for most of the emerald ash borers to leave the firewood.

Ash trees are a very important part of life for many people, for example the Abenaki.The Abenaki are a Native American tribe. Black ash tree is culturally very important to them for they use the wood to make woven baskets. In addition, many arthropods who depend on ash trees, about 286 species will lose a main source of food.

Some would argue that invasive species are a natural part of life and the Ash trees may eventually develop a resistance to the emerald ash borer’. However, is it considered natural if they, the emerald ash borer, is not a native species to the USA? I argue not. If we do not stop this infestation, many people and animals will be affected by the loss of ash trees, whether it be a financial loss or a spiritual loss, in the case of Native Americans.

In order to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer, you should notify local officials if you see signs of an EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) infestation. The signs of an infestation include a small, d-shaped exit hole. Another sign includes a loss of leaves or the yellowing of leaves. Spotting these signs means that we can avoid chopping down trees for firewood. It also means that we can possibly start the use of pesticides in infested areas.

Overall, the infestation of EAB is becoming a large issue in the community of South Hero and it’s not going to be resolved unless we do something about it. The first big step in this process is to limit the spread of ash firewood to only South Hero at the risk of infestation to other areas in Vermont.

    

Bibliography

“Emerald Ash Borer.” Emerald Ash Borer - The Arbor Day Foundation, Apr. 2015, www.arborday.org/trees/health/pests/emerald-ash-borer.cfm.

Vermont Invasives.” Emerald Ash Borer | Vermont Invasives, www.vtinvasives.org/invasive/emerald-ash-borer.

 
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