Destructive Emerald Ash Borer Edges Closer to New England Forests

The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle that has destroyed millions of ash trees from the U.S. Midwest to western New York over the last decade, has been found east of the Hudson River for the first time, the closest the pest has comes to the forests of New England. New York environmental officials, who have undertaken an aggressive research and control campaign across 225 square miles since the pest was first found in New York state in 2009, say they found small infestations of the beetle in three “trap” trees east of the Hudson last month. Fortunately, they told the Associated Press, the colony was discovered less than a year after it was established, making it easier to curb the beetles’ spread. Typically, the beetle larvae tunnel under the bark and kill trees before foresters know the trees have been infested. While the main population of the beetle, which originated in China, has been moving toward the northeastern U.S. at a pace of about 2 to 3 miles per year since the beetle was first found near Detroit in 2002, smaller colonies have been leapfrogging ahead, most likely in truckloads of logs or firewood.