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Tree identification part of emerald ash borer control

Residents along Summit Drive in West Lafayette, Ind., have tagged their ash trees. Photo courtesy Jodie Ellis, Purdue University

Residents along Summit Drive in West Lafayette, Ind., have tagged their ash trees. Photo courtesy Jodie Ellis, Purdue University

The dreaded emerald ash borer has been found along the Monon trail in Nora, in Sahm Park and at Castleton Square mall in Indianapolis. The Monon in Nora is the farthest south and west the insect has been detected in Marion County.

<p>Emerald ash borer.</p>

Emerald ash borer.

This bug from China, first discovered in Michigan in 2002, has already felled millions of ash trees, with the highest concentration in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. The bug kills any species of native ash trees within three to five years of infestation.

Seven percent, or 47 million ash trees, are at risk in our forests and woodlands and millions more on our streets and backyards, said Jodie Ellis, exotic insects education coordinator at Purdue University.

<p>Neighborhoods in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Ind., have begun tagging ash trees to demonstrate their number and concentration. Photo courtesy Jodie Ellis, Purdue University</p>

Neighborhoods in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Ind., have begun tagging ash trees to demonstrate their number and concentration. Photo courtesy Jodie Ellis, Purdue University

To emphasize the number of trees that will be killed by the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire), neighbors have begun tagging ash trees in their community with pink ribbons in Lafayette and West Lafayette, Ind. The exercise serves a couple of purposes:

  • It marks which trees neighborhoods and other communities may want to protect with regular pesticide treatments. These might be large, old healthy specimens and those that offer significant benefits, such as shade.
  • It marks which trees should be monitored, so if evidence of emerald ash borers is spotted, action can be taken immediately.

The Purdue program, called Neighbors Against Bad Bugs, or NABB, will be rolled out as communities, neighborhoods and other groups express interest, said Cliff Sadof, a professor of entomology at Purdue.

Many of Indiana’s certified arborists have said they’d provide group rates for treatments where neighbors are working together.

Sadof and other experts also have revised their recommendation on treatment of ash trees. For details and to learn more about the insect and the NABB program, please visit Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana.

Other resources:

FAQs for Treatments

Homeowners’ Guide to Insecticide Selection, Use and Environmental Protection

Don’t Move Firewood

Don’t Move Firewood (for kids)

Emerald Ash Borer found at Castleton Square mall

Emerald Ash Borer on Fox59

Life cycle of emerald ash borer. Image courtesy Purdue University

Life cycle of emerald ash borer. Image courtesy Purdue University

Here’s a video that shows the borer laying eggs.

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