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Invasive beetle attacking North Texas ash trees – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

DENTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Ash trees are estimated to make up about 3% to 5% of the total tree population in North Texas.

While that may sound like a lot, it translates to millions of trees.

Ash trees are typically found along riverbanks and low spawning areas here in Texas.

Most of their population in Dallas County, for example, is in the Trinity River Basin.

Ash trees are not that popular urban tree.

For this story, we visited a park in Denton that has planted dozens of them along the edge of the park along the streets that border the park.

It is not recommended to plant only one type of tree in this manner; diversity is always a safer way to keep your awning. Why? Because sometimes a certain species of tree will be attacked by a fungus or an insect.

This is what happens to ash trees.

An invasive Asian beetle called the emerald ash borer (EAB) first appeared in Detroit years ago.

About three years ago he appeared in the Metroplex.

Emerald ash borer specimens. (Photo by Carl D. Walsh / Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

The beetle attacks healthy ash trees, laying eggs under the bark. The larvae hatch and begin to eat the living tissue of the tree just under the bark. This slowly kills the tree as it cuts off the flow of nutrients. The beetle attack takes a few years, but the top of the tree will die first.

The tree can be saved with an insecticide applied by professionals. You really have to inject it into the tree; some homeowners try to water the base of the tree, but this has had very little success.

The insecticide is also quite dangerous to handle, so please call a professional. It’s expensive, probably over $ 500 per treatment. It will also have to be done every two years. The cost is still probably cheaper than having an arborist to come and safely remove the tree.

Plus, if the tree is putting shade on your home, there are cooling bills to consider.

It is recommended that municipalities take an inventory of their urban forest.

It’s expensive, but it’s important information not only for controlling the emerald ash borer but also for other tree-related problems like oak wilt.

Once a city knows where the ash trees are, it can begin to carefully monitor the traps set up to see if the beetle is in that area.

Then decisions have to be made about which trees to save and which trees to cut.

Over the next two weeks, Gardening 101 will focus on tree health.

We are entering a long dry spell in the wake of the historic cold snap of last February.

This will put more stress on the trees that are already trying to recover from the extreme frost.


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