Emerald ash borer awareness is focus of new Purdue program
An ash tree such as this one not protected with pesticides dies in three to five years after an emerald ash borer attack. (Purdue Extension Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana photo)
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue Extension has begun a summerlong program to help homeowners manage ash trees in their yards as the emerald ash borer continues its destructive path through Indiana.
Purdue’s Neighbors Against Bad Bugs, a collaboration among Purdue Master Gardeners, city foresters and neighborhood groups, has declared this season "The Summer of NABB."
NABB participants will organize tree-tagging events at the request of neighborhood associations so that homeowners and communities can learn where their ash trees are and what they need to do before the ash borer arrives in their area. NABB also will help neighbors learn how to save money by negotiating with tree care companies for group rates on the cost of treatments and, if a tree is dying from infestation, removal.
"The most important benefit of NABB is that people learn to act early to save valuable ash trees from unnecessary destruction," said Jodie Ellis, a Purdue University emerald ash borer expert.
Gov. Mitch Daniels declared May 22-28 as Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week.
The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in North America since its discovery in 2002 and has been found in 14 states. Since 2004, it has been found in 42 of Indiana's 92 counties: Adams, Allen, Blackford, Brown, Carroll, Cass, DeKalb, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Floyd, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Harrison, Hendricks, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Miami, Monroe, Noble, Orange, Porter, Randolph, Ripley, St. Joseph, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Wabash, Washington, Wells, White and Whitley.
Feeding by emerald ash borer larvae sometimes causes splitting in the bark of young ash trees. Newly formed adult ash borers exit from D-shaped exit holes starting in May. (Purdue Extension Emerald Ash Borer in Indiana photo)
The best way to prevent the spread of the exotic beetle is to avoid moving firewood long distances because its larvae hide under bark, Ellis said. Firewood should be bought locally and burned completely.
"This year, we are asking Hoosiers to go a step further and, where circumstances allow, protect healthy urban ash trees from the emerald ash borer with properly applied pesticides," Ellis said.
Healthy ash trees provide benefits such as improved air quality, water conservation, lowered energy costs and reduced storm runoff, all of which help to add to property value, Ellis said.
"In addition, people are emotionally comforted by the presence of trees," she said.
For more information on the emerald ash borer or to learn how to arrange a NABB tree-tagging event with Purdue's Master Gardeners, visit https://www.eabindiana.info
NABB activities are managed by Purdue Extension and Master Gardeners and are available at the request of neighborhood associations throughout Indiana at no charge.
Writer: Erica Sullivan, (765) 494-8402, email@example.com
Sources: Jodie Ellis, (765) 494-0822, firstname.lastname@example.org
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