Trying to Save the Ash Trees

High winds are not the only danger to trees in Ohio. If you look around your neighborhood you may see ash trees with dying branches. Throughout Ohio and other states ash trees are being attacked by the larvae of emerald ash borer, an invasive species. The first sign of infestation is dead branches in the tree tops. Unfortunately, once you begin to see dying branches an ash tree is already badly infected. Another sign of infestation are new shoots growing from the base of trees. The trees are trying to fight back, but this growth is not a sign of life, but rather an indication that they are nearly gone.

I’m seeing more and more trees in this condition where I live. It is sad to lose so many trees, but I am proud to work at the Ohio Historical Society where our natural history curator, Bob Glotzhober, and the dedicated staff at Cedar Bog Nature Preserve near Urbana are working to limit some of the damage. Hear is a link to an article in the Sunday edition of the Columbus Dispatch that explains how the introduction of a non-stinging wasp that feeds on the ash borers might save ash trees and the rare species found in the Bog that they protect:

Using Wasps to Kill the Bugs that Eat the Trees that Protect the Orchids

L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources

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