Insect threatens Ohio’s 1 billion ash trees

State agrictulture officials worry that a tiny bug threatens the state’s one billion ash trees. Officials have found an infestation of the emerald ash borer in northeast Columbus. Now they are trying to contain it.

Agrilus pannipellis, better known as the emerald ash borer, showed up in about a half dozen ash trees near the Easton shopping center. Officials say a landscaping company bought the trees from a Michigan nursery and planted them off Sunbury Road a couple years ago.

The state agriculture department’s Tom Harrison says they are trying find out if other trees are contaminated.

The metallic green colored, torpedo-shaped ash borer is about 1/2 inch long and it borrows its way just under ash trees’ bark, cutting off the path water and nutrients take from the roots to the canopy.

There are about one billion ash trees in Ohio…Ohio State University entomologist Dan Herms says says all are vulnerable if the infestation spreads.

Pesticides will not kill the bug; the only way to stop the infestation from spreading is to cut down the three, chip it and then burn the chips.

Agriculture department officials want to hear from anyone who finds the signature serpentine like trails under the bark of their ash trees. They can call 1-888-OHIO-EAB.

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