Emerald Ash Borer - another invading pest.
The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about what is happening in the natural world in our neighborhoods. Birds, blooms, bugs & more - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.July 3, 2013
Ash trees (Fraxinus ) are a major component of the northern woods. It's in the Olive family but, while the branching structure is opposite like others in this family, it has compound leaves. The tree range stretches south to my home in North Florida but it is not as common as it is up here near Lake Ontario.
Species up here include White Ash, Green Ash, and Black Ash. The latter 2 are commonly called swamp ash since they favor wetlands.
The leaves will have 5-11 leaflets. The Black Ash does not have stems on its leaflets which makes that a good ID point. Bark and seed variations are also keys to identifying. The winged fruit is called a samara. When I looked up the word samara, wouldn't ya know, someone on facebook is named Samara Ash.
The Emerald Ash Borer, a native of Asia, was first discovered in 2002 in SE Michigan and Windsor Ontario. They have since mown thru an estimated 50 million ash trees. Looking at maps provided by the NY DEC, hotspots of infestation are south of Rochester and in the Hudson River Valley. Looking at the distribution of ash trees across the state, they are about 1/4 of all trees in western NY.
Most trees die within 2 to 4 years of becoming infested. The larvae is 2-3 inches long and tunnels under the bark. They make great woodpecker food - a benefit from this unfortunate pest.
New York currently has a regulation restricting the movement of firewood. in hopes of slowing down the spread. Purple traps are installed in ash trees to monitor the insects.
This site has more information for all affected states.
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