St. Louis Ash Trees, Be Warned: The Emerald Ash Borer Is On The Loose

In this article and sound clip from St. Louis Public Radio, Davey's Karl Dreyer talks EAB.  

By Shula Neuman

Published: May 10, 2014

Beware the Emerald Ash Borer. 

Ash trees in the St. Louis area are susceptible to attacks from the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive species of beetle that has been creeping toward the area since 2008.

The green beetle, with a penchant for any kind of ash tree, has infested and killed millions of trees nationwide. The beetle is native of Asia and was first found in Michigan in the early 2000s, although recent research suggests the bug could have been here since the early 1990s.

Some description

It was first spotted in Missouri in Wayne County in 2008. Since then, it’s spread around the state and has been identified in Perry County, which is only about 50 miles south of St. Louis. Perry County is also where a lot of people in St. Louis get their firewood. That’s important because scientists believe the Emerald Ash Borer hitches rides on transported wood.

“Firewood transportation is how it has spread so readily,” said Karl Dreyer, district manager for Davey Tree Expert Company. Rather than rely on the natural flight mode of the insect,which is only a few hundred yards at a time, the borer travel from woodlots, to campgrounds, and from campgrounds to homes, Dreyer said.

“How it originally got there, no one knows.  It could have been transported in bundle of firewood, from Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota. Someplace where it had already been established,” Dreyer said.

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