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Ash trees are currently in danger and the whole population of this type of tree is being threatened of being wiped out. The threat comes from the Emerald Ash Borer which is an insect that was accidentally introduced into the country. This insect poses a threat that is equal or even greater to the danger posed by other pests and diseases that have affected trees in the past.
Accidental Introduction- As mentioned, the introduction of this species of insect was accidental and it is estimated that it happened sometime in the 1990s. Its presence was left undetected for over a decade until 2002 when it was finally discovered by experts. By then it had spread into more than a dozen states already and even to some parts of Canada.
Damage- It is estimated that the Emerald Ash Borer has already killed more than 50 million ash trees in North America alone, and it is a real threat to the more than 7.5 billion ash trees that can be found in the continent. Estimates of the damage that it has caused are placed to be as high as $3.5 billion annually. The insect has been placed as one of the most damaging invasive species of insects today.
The threat to a Genus- Other invasive insects in the past have only threatened a single species within a genus, but the Emerald Ash Borer is unique in that regard. This insect is targeting all species under the North American Fraxinus genus. Because all ash trees in North America are threatened, though the black and green ash trees seem to be preferred.
The Eleven-Year Cycle- Experts have seen a pattern in the way that the Emerald Ash Borer can infest an area. It follows a cycle that is estimated to last for eleven years starting from the time that it is introduced into the area. In the years following that, the population of the insect can grow at an exponential rate which could wipe out the Emerald Ash Borer in a significant part of the country.
Impact- There are many cities that have a high ash population since this type of tree is well suited for an urban setting and to the poor planting practices today. This means that many cities are facing the possibility of losing most of their forest covering and that is exactly what has happened in some places already.
There are ways that you can save your ash tree from the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer. There are some pest control services that offer this kind of treatment to help protect your trees.
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