An exotic pest is killing America’s ash trees. The Emerald Ash Borer first appeared in Michigan, destroying millions of ash trees in that state alone. Now the borer has spread south, recently appearing in Arkansas and Louisiana near the east Texas border.
The insect spreads when people move and sell firewood infested with borers. When infested wood is taken to a new location, the borers move to nearby trees—often settling in trees already experiencing stress due to drought or other issues. To prevent damage to local trees, residents are urged to buy locally-sourced firewood and avoid carrying wood across state lines, especially as the summer camping season approaches.
According to Allen city forester Jesse Simmons, Allen has a fairly large population of green ash trees in both residential neighborhoods and undeveloped wooded areas. Though infested trees can be saved, the treatment can be costly and not all trees survive.