If you thought the Emerald Ash Borer was bad……
The Indiana DNR has reissued a watch for the Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB), a 1 ½ inch long beetle that looks like it escaped from a science fiction movie. Sporting random white spots on its black body and antennae, this invasive threat previously quarantined in areas of Clermont County, OH, has now been found in East Fork State Park, and thousands of trees – infected or not – are being intentionally destroyed. A 61 sq. mile area in Clermont Co. has already been cut down in the original control area.
As with the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the ALB lays eggs in tree bark and the larvae eat into the tree as they mature. But while the EAB larvae eat their way through the phloem layer directly under the bark, the ALB larvae burrow into the heartwood weakening the tree and making it highly susceptible to wind and storm damage. Both insects kill the host tree; however, there are effective chemical treatments available for treating EAB. The only proven way to destroy the ALB is to cut down all the trees in the quarantined area and to chip the wood to expose the larvae. (A study of an unspecified chemical treatment is in its second year in Clermont Co.)
Why are healthy trees removed? Because there is no way to check every branch on every tree for evidence of the ALB. This weird beetle does not migrate far in a season, but it is a major threat to landscaping, woodlands, parks, and logging operations because it affects at least 11 different species of trees including ash, elm, birch, poplar, sycamore, willow, hackberry, horse chestnut, mimosa, and its favorite host — maple. Look at this list – these trees make up over 75% of the trees in HVL!
What to look for:
- 60-90 oval egg-laying spots on tree trunks
- ¼” round exit holes
- Sawdust-like material (frass) at the base of the tree
How can you help:
- Regularly check for signs of the ALB on your trees
- Never, ever, ever bring firewood into HVL from anywhere! You can get as much free firewood as you need by contacting the POA Office – lots of ash trees have been cut down and are available for the taking.
- If you do spot signs or one of these alien invaders, contact Linda.
Submitted by Linda Hartmann
HVL Natural Resources Coordinator