Emerald Ash Borers Puts Fate of VA Ash Trees in Jeopardy
The fate of ash trees in the commonwealth is in jeopardy at a cost of thousands of dollars to communities.
Emerald ash borers (EAB), a highly destructive insect that targets ash trees, originate from Asia and were first found in the United States in 2002. The wood-boring beetle has made its way across 15 states including Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Forestry said the beetle has been found in 13 new counties in the commonwealth just this year. The nearest counties to Charlottesville are Prince Edward County and Hanover County.
Dr. Chris Asaro, Ph.D., an entomologist with the VA Department of Forestry, says removing dead ash trees could cost cities and counties as much as $1,000 per tree.
"While a lot of those trees aren't very large, there are several places, for example, the University of Virginia grounds that have very large ash trees that could cost thousands of dollars to remove if they were killed," Dr. Asaro said.
Dr. Asaro said while the emerald ash borer has not been found in Albemarle County, he wouldn't be surprised if the beetle has made its way to the area. That's because it can take several years before a tree shows signs it's being affected by the insect.
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Jennifer Von Reuter joined the NBC29 news team in June 2009 as a general assignment reporter. Prior to joining NBC29, Jennifer worked as an anchor and reporter for WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, MD. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story