Thousands of mid-Michigan's trees are marked for destruction and across the state, the number is in the millions. It's all because of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle. Infested trees will soon be cut down and that's got property owners wondering how the eradication process will affect their land.
At a recent meeting to discuss concerns, property owner Brad Heinze said he' s worried about landscaping and stumps that'll be left behind once the cutting begins. An official from the Michigan Department of Agriculture's Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division says some restoration will be provided, but money for new trees is not available yet. The state will pay for all tree removal and disposal. The infested trees will be cut, chipped and then burned to destroy the beetle.
While cutting has already begun in Saginaw County, the Michigan Department of Agriculture says removal in mid-Michigan should be underway by the first week in March.
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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.