Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program
As of this week, Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) if officially confirmed within Adirondack Park according to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Identified by New York State Department of Transportation field staff at the Warren County Canoe Launch on the Schroon River, samples are now at the Cornell University Insect Diagnostic Lab for further review.
A tiny, destructive, metallic green, invasive insect, EAB is responsible for killing tens of millions of Ash trees across North America since the early 2000's. EAB larvae devour trees' internal vascular systems that sit just behind an Ash's grayish, rough bark. With broken down xylem and phloem, trees can no longer transport water and nutrients that are necessary for sustaining life, thus infested plants perish within a short number of years. Since EAB often target younger trees with relatively thin bark, many infested saplings don't live long enough to reach seed production stages of life. Because of this, future generations of ash are greatly reduced and gene pools are shrinking for the plant family continent-wide.
As EAB larvae grow into adulthood, beetles emerge from the inside of the tree out by carving distinctive 1/8-inch, "D" letter shaped holes along the trunk and branches. With their distinctive shiny green wings on top and purple undersides, EAB can be present from late May through early September though are most commonly observed in the height of summer. Other signs of infestation include tree canopy dieback, yellowing, and browning of leaves.
“Unfortunately, the introduction of Emerald Ash Borer to the Adirondacks has damaging cultural, economic, and ecologic consequences,” according to APIPP Manager, Tammara Van Ryn. “’White’ or ‘American’ Ash is as American as baseball since the hard wood was the choice for baseball bat manufacturers for decades before EAB became so widespread. The loss of other varieties of ash trees impacts indigenous communities that use ash for traditional crafts including Adirondack pack baskets. Many Adirondack birds also rely on ash trees for food and for nesting.”
APIPP encourages Adirondack residents everywhere to pay close attention to signs of EAB. Two key indicators of an infestation are: 1. “Epicormic, branching,” or lots of sucker-like, new branches growing from the lower trunk of Ash, and 2. Observing woodpecker damage on trunks of trees already appearing to be in decline (yellowing leaves, leaf die back, etc). Sometimes Ash just lose leaves when experiencing seasonal drought as a survival mechanism - so these two factors are key for ID. Report observations using @nyimapinvasives
Always remember that you can prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer by limiting the movement and purchasing of firewood for use at home and while recreating. For more information on how to prevent the spread of Emerald Ash Borer and other invasive plants and insects visit http://adkinvasives.com/Get-Involved/Prevent-the-Spread/
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