Credit Michigan State University David Cappaert / USDA
The University of New Hampshire's Cooperative Extension is going on the road to educate people about the destructive emerald ash borer. Workshops are scheduled in Canterbury at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, and at 4 p.m. Friday, June 20. Each will last two hours. Homeowners, landowners and community leaders will learn about the beetle that has been spreading outward from Michigan for more than a decade, destroying millions of ash trees. They've been found in parts of New Hampshire. The first workshop, at Canterbury Town Hall, will give an overview of the insect and the local situation. The second, at the Canterbury Shaker Village, will provide an opportunity to see what infested trees look like. The workshops will also provide suggestions for what to do if trees are infested.
The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive Asian beetle that has killed millions of Ash trees in the Great Lakes region, is creeping closer to New Hampshire.
This week an Emerald Ash Borer infestation was found in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts. The pest has spread from Michigan, through the Mid-Atlantic region, to upstate New York and Connecticut.
Kyle Lombard with the division of Forested Lands says, on its own the ash borer moves very slowly.
A survey is now underway in Concord, to determine how far an infestation of invasive beetles has spread. The Emerald Ash Borer has been detected in trees up and down the Merrimack River in Concord. But so far the survey has not found any of the pests outside of a six-mile radius of the city.
There are 25 million ash trees in New Hampshire, found mostly in western and Northern counties. They make up about 6 percent of the state’s forests. But so far, the beetle that has decimated forests in the Midwest, has only been discovered in and around Concord
While frigid temperatures don’t feel particularly great, they do play an important role in the state’s ecosystem.
One way that cold temperatures can be helpful is by beating back the wave of invasive insects that have laid siege to the state’s forests, but State Entomologist Piera Siegert tells NHPR’s Brady Carlson that the some of the recent headlines about the impact of this cold on invasive bugs over-state the case in the Granite state.
The January issue of Atlantic Monthly online reported a curious connection between the death of 100 million ash trees killed after the arrival of the invasive, exotic “Emerald Ash borer” beetle in lower Michigan to an ensuing spike in rates of human heart disease and pulmonary illness including pneumonia.