Press-Republican

Columns

June 17, 2013

Invasive insect pests can alter forests

When you think of a pest, who comes to mind? 

My dog, Oliver, brings his favorite toy to me as soon as I sit down to dinner, thinking that since I am not busy, I can throw it for him. Over and over again! He can be annoying sometimes, but the pest I am writing about today is more than annoying. It has the potential to cause an incredible amount of damage to our forests and landscape trees.

The emerald ash borer is arguably the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America. The small, bright, metallic emerald-green beetle’s natural range is northern China, Japan, Korea and eastern Russia. It was first discovered in Michigan in 2002, although it’s likely that it was present there and in other areas for a number of years before discovery. It is thought to have arrived in North America via crates or packing materials on cargo ships. It has now been found in Michigan, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. 

The female adult emerald ash borer lays eggs in crevices in the bark of ash trees. When the eggs hatch, the larvae, which are cream colored and have distinct bell-shaped segments, chew through the bark and into the cambium of the tree. The cambium is where nutrients and water flow to nourish the tree. As the larvae feed on these nutrients, they form S-shaped tunnels, or galleries, under the bark. The tree becomes unable to transport the nutrients and water it needs and begins to die from the top down. This is called canopy thinning.

In late spring, when the adults emerge, they leave small D-shaped exit holes. Other signs of emerald ash borer infestation are increased woodpecker activity and shoots sprouting from the lower trunk of the tree, called epicormic branching. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • little_mug.jpg There's no saw like an old saw Kaye and I laughed ourselves silly the other day as we tried to top each other with our own sayings from childhood, columnist Gordie Little writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Denenberg_Stu1.jpg Privacy concerns make a comeback

    There's a growing concern amongst the millennials, columnist Stu Denenberg writes.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • paul_grasso.jpg Several options exist for downtown

    Pedestrian mall just one idea that could be good for city's economic future, according to columnist Paul Grasso.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Government can't create success on its own

    It takes a grass-roots community effort of people working together to assure future accomplishment, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hagar_mug1.jpg Farmers strive for sustainability

    Conserving the land and assuring long-term profitability are two of the key goals for farmers these days, according to columnist Peter Hagar.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Big shift in Quebec vote

    Being a man of science, Philippe Couillard, premier-designate of Quebec, chose to use a geological term (though his field is actually medicine) to describe what happened in Monday's election, writes Canadian columnist Peter Black.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg A monastery in the Hebrides, after 1,000 years

    Before Father Seraphim Aldea can build a monastery on Scotland's Mull Island, he needs to have a working septic system, writes religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg Old movies offer more than entertaining TV

    Columnist Susan Tobias and her husband, Toby, are reminded of simple childhood memories while watching an old black-and-white movie.

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns
Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time