In this article with Lake Minnetonka Magazine, Travis McDonald, district manager of Davey's South Minneapolis office, talks baseball and Emerald Ash Borer.
Posted: April 21, 2015
The satisfying crack as bat meets ball means two things: The Twins are back and winter is over.
This cherished spring sound relies heavily on bats made from the strong and flexible ash tree. But ash trees are being destroyed by a tiny beetle and that familiar baseball sound may be threatened. Half of MLB players use a Louisville Slugger bat and currently 45% of their wood bats are made from white ash. Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a small, glitter-green insect, is not only threatening wooden bats, but millions of ash trees across Minnesota.
Since first detected in 2002, these Asian insects have destroyed more than 50 million ash trees in 25 states and caused more than $10 billion to be spent for the removal, treatment and replacement of more than 17 million ash trees. In Minnesota alone, the beetle will cost $10.7 billion in property value losses and ecological services.
“Its continued spread across the country is most likely due to the sale and transportation of firewood,” explains Travis McDonald, district manager for The Davey Tree Expert Company’s South Minneapolis office.McDonald explains that EAB is hard to detect with the untrained eye. “The insects feed on tissue just below the bark, preventing the tree from transporting water and nutrients and eventually killing it. Early decisions about the detection and treatment are critical to saving the ash trees before it’s too late for the tree, and for us.”
Ash trees are popular for their fast-growing, large-canopy and strength to withstand fast-changing weather events. Plus they’re inexpensive.
This invasive insect has the potential to wreak havoc on this popular tree unless early preventative measures are taken. If the insects go untreated, thousands of ash trees will need to be cut down to avoid a public safety problem.
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