The leaves of trees are long gone, but local, state and federal authorities are planning their attack to eradicate the dreaded Emerald Ash Borer.
The assault on the tree pesticide will begin in Potterville and Delta Township in the next six weeks.
More than 1,000 trees are slated for destruction in order to rid mid-Michigan of the destructive insect that thrives on trees.
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Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer belongs to a group of insects known as metallic wood-boring beetles.
Adults are dark metallic green in color, 1/2 inch in length and 1/16 inch wide, and are only present from mid May until late July. Larvae are creamy white in color and are found under the bark.
The borer's host range is limited to species of ash trees (identified by their distinctive leaves, which are located directly across from each other on the leaf stem, and bark).
In Michigan, most ash tree are white, black or green.
Emerald Ash Borer does not attack mountain ash, which is not related to white, black, or green ash trees.
Usually their presence goes undetected until the trees show symptoms of infestation – typically the upper third of a tree will die back first, followed by the rest the next year.
This is often followed by a large number of shoots or sprouts arising below the dead portions of the trunk.
The adult beetles typically make a D-shaped exit hole when they emerge. Tissue produced by the tree in response to larval feeding may also cause vertical splits to occur in the bark. Distinct S-shaped tunnels may also be apparent under the bark.
Source: http://www.michigan.gov/mda (Michigan Department of Agriculture Web site) contributed to this report.