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Emerald Ash Borer Management

Forest management is an important part of maintaining a healthy watershed since forests help to slow down runoff and filter out pollution. DEP foresters have been working with professionals from the United States Forest Service and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for several years on an initiative called Slow Ash Mortality (SLAM).

When the emerald ash borer—a small green beetle from Asia that only attacks ash trees—was first found in the watershed in 2010, DEP foresters knew that it would only be a matter of time before all of the ash trees were lost. Working with Federal and State Agency partners they developed a plan to target larger trees near the edge of the infestation for harvest before they became infested and could pump out large numbers of new beetles. This strategy had been shown to be successful in keeping populations from expanding to new sites very quickly in the Midwest where the emerald ash borer infestation was discovered in 2002.

The emerald ash borer is a small metallic boring beetle that spends most of its adult life flying high in the canopy of ash trees. As a larva it is hidden underneath the bark and can be very hard to detect. Marianne Prue, Ohio Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry,

DEP foresters look for larvae by peeling away the upper layers of bark on ash tree bolts.

Foresters from DEP collaborate with their colleagues from the United States Forest Service and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to prevent the emerald ash borer from spreading quickly.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Homeowners are encouraged to

  1. Identify ash trees on your property.
  2. Determine how far away you are from a known infestation.
  3. Determine if you have ash that you would like to save, remove, or harvest.
  4. Begin planning now. Contact a certified arborist to discuss chemical treatment options and tree removal or a forester to discuss a potential harvest.
  5. Watch for signs of the emerald ash borer. Look for light, rough areas of bark which indicate woodpecker activity since this is often the best clue that a tree is infested.

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