FOX47 NEWS - Emerald Ash Borer Invades Wisconsin

Jeff Angileri
Aug 4, 2008, 10:24 PM

A nasty bug responsible for killing millions of trees across the midwest has now made its way into Wisconsin. Experts discovered the emerald ash borer in suburban Detroit six years ago. It's slowly migrating west.

Experts say they're disappointed to see it infesting trees in the badger state, but they are not surprised.

Wisconsin's 725 million ash trees are in danger of infestation from the emerald ash borer.

It was just a matter of time before we discovered it, said Chris Williamson, Associate Professor or Entomology at UW-Madison.

Experts found the green menace in more than two dozen trees in Ozaukee County.

The bugs, which come from Asia, burrow in tree bark, cut off nutrients, and eventually starve trees to death. The emerald ash borer could make a huge impact on Wisconsin's green belts, especially since the insect attacks a wide spectrum of ash trees.

Those are the green, the white, the blue, the black, the pumpkin, and velvet ash, said Williamson.

Symptoms include a thinning tree canopy, split bark, and squiggly lines where the bug fees off soft tissue underneath.

When it comes to combatting the green metallic beetle, prevention is still the main objective. That could include clear-cutting thousands of ash trees, using pesticides, deploying bug traps, and asking wisconsinites to help.

Said Williamson, The public has many more eyes than we do. Be cognizant of ash trees and symptoms associated with emerald ash borer.

Quarantines are in place in seven states to prevent the spread of infested trees, logs, and firewood.

Experts say that's a likely possibility in Wisconsin, with this discovery.

Since 2003, the federal government has spent about $130 million fighting the ash borer.

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